Thursday, June 12, 2008
Today's Supreme Court decision: signifying--what exactly?
Yes, it's an important decision, of course. But please check out this article on Slate.com today, The Enemy Within: Who are we more afraid of: enemy combatants or federal courts?:
The Supreme Court's decision Thursday in Boumediene v. Bush and Al Odah v. United States is—as all the big enemy-combatant cases have been—both enormously important and relatively insignificant. This is, after all, the third stinging setback and blistering rebuke the court has handed the Bush administration with respect to prisoner rights at Guantanamo. Yet you may have noticed that all of these setbacks and rebukes have mostly meant more hot days in orange jumpsuits, more solitary confinement, and ever more plus ça change for the detainees there. At his pretrial hearing in April, one of the detainees "lucky" enough to actually face a trial, Salim Hamdan, pointed out to the presiding judge that winning his own appeal at the Supreme Court in 2006 got him precisely nothing.
American democracy may be so weak that this ruling makes little difference. Will the cages be emptied at GITMO because of it? Not likely, at least, not soon. Bush holds himself above the law and wants to keep his evildoers locked up. He is proving that where there is a won't, there is a way.
Check out line of flight's article, What Cuba and Hawai'i Have In Common over at his Maui Talk blog: