Blog: Gimme Some Truth
by Zircon

Suspension of the United States during the War on Terrorism

Wikipedia has some in-your-face and sobering facts to report about the recent suspension of Habeas Corpus

Date:   10/8/2006 7:10:37 AM   ( 17 y ) ... viewed 2441 times

(Headline above saying "Suspension of the United States" is not the exact title used by Wikipedia, but seems to ring with a startling truth...freedom suspended in America! -- Zircon)

...HABEAS CORPUS is the name of a legal instrument or writ by means of which detainees can seek release from unlawful imprisonment. A writ of habeas corpus is a court order addressed to a prison official (or other custodian) ordering that a detainee be brought to the court so it can be determined whether or not that person is imprisoned lawfully and whether or not he or she should be released from custody. The writ of habeas corpus in common law countries is an important instrument for the safeguarding of individual freedom against arbitrary state action....


The November 13, 2001 Presidential Military Order gives the President of the United States the power to detain anyone suspected of connection to terrorists or terrorism as enemy combatants. As such, that person can be held indefinitely, without charges being filed against him or her, without a court hearing, and without entitlement to a legal consultant.

Many legal and constitutional scholars contend that these provisions are in direct opposition to habeas corpus, and the United States Bill of Rights. The case of Hamdi v. Rumsfeld re-confirmed the right of US citizens to habeas corpus even when declared an enemy combatant. (While the case contained many opinions, eight of the nine justices affirmed the basic principle that habeas corpus of a citizen could not be revoked.) The issue of aliens has been more complicated. While some argue that habeas corpus does not properly apply to noncitizens, US courts have also ruled that many rights under the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment apply to "all persons," not just US citizens. In the case of Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, argued before the United States Supreme Court in March 2006, Salim Ahmed Hamdan petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus, challenging the lawfulness of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's plan to try him for alleged war crimes before a military commission convened under special orders issued by the President of the United States, rather than before a court-martial convened under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. On June 29, 2006, in a 5-3 ruling the Supreme Court of the United States rejected Congress's attempts to strip the court of jurisdiction over habeas corpus appeals by detainees at Guantánamo Bay, although Congress had previously passed the Detainee Treatment Act (DTA), which took effect on December 30, 2005:

"[N]o court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider an application for a writ of habeas corpus filed by or on behalf of an alien detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba." §1005(e)(1), 119 Stat. 2742.

On 29 September, 2006, the U.S. Senate approved a bill which would suspend habeas corpus for anyone determined to be an "unlawful enemy combatant engaged in hostilities or having supported hostilities against the United States"[2], [1] by a vote of 65-34. (This was the result on the bill to approve the military trials for detainees; an amendment to remove the suspension of habeas corpus failed 48-51.)

According to the ACLU, this bill "removes important checks on the president by: failing to protect due process, eliminating habeas corpus for many detainees, undermining enforcement of the Geneva Conventions, and giving a "get out of jail free card" to senior officials who authorized or ordered illegal torture and abuse." According to Christopher Anders, an ACLU Legislative Counsel, "nothing could be less American than a government that can indefinitely hold people in secret torture cells, take away their protections against horrific and cruel abuse, put them on trial based on evidence that they cannot see, sentence them to death based on testimony literally beaten out of witnesses, and then slam shut the courthouse door for any habeas petition, but that’s exactly what Congress just approved."

This is just a small portion of what you can read on Wikipedia at:

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