nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,

Habeas Schmabeas

A radio show about Gitmo and Habeas Corpus, with some cool history about how the English faced the same situation in 1610, and somewhat about habeas corpus being more important than many of the rights we hear more about these days. I don't think the implications were made explicit, so I'll say it: Governments have so much power relative to everyone else that it's too easy to just imprison people for no reason and then not let go of them because letting go is too much like work and could lead to embarrassment. Amazingly (considering the power imbalance), just requiring a government to *say* why it's holding someone can make a huge difference.

Thanks to google, I discovered that there's another article with the same title. It's not as major, but it's got the background for Johnson v. Eisentrager, one of the major historical cases that's part of the appeals from foreign nationals held at Gitmo.

Here's what's been haunting me: The US has been doing a moral self-improvement project for decades, but in some ways, we're behaving worse than we did during WWII. Now, maybe it's enough that we didn't intern Arabs in general, but our treatment of prisoners of war has declined a lot. What happened or failed to happen?

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