Dohiyi Mir
    In Which NTodd Says His Peace

Monday, December 01, 2003
Go to the new DM blog.

Legal Fiction


Visit the official U.S. Navy website for Guantanamo Bay and the first thing you'll see is a picture of a gigantic American flag planted firmly on Cuban soil. The picture confirms the obvious: that this forty-five square mile chunk of territory, geographically part of Cuba, is under direct and exclusive American control.
In the current litigation over the fate of the hundreds of detainees held on Guantanamo, the government's position is premised on the fact that Guantanamo is technically foreign soil. Because Guantanamo is part of Cuba, argues the government, it is beyond the reach of American courts.

What is most dismaying about these formalistic discussions of Guantanamo's legal status is not simply that they disregard the practical reality of U.S. control over the territory. They also, quite mistakenly, ignore the U.S. government's deliberate decision to place the detainees there.

The Right excoriated Gore over such things as "no controlling legal authority". They impeached Clinton for some linguistic twists and turns about sex. And here is a rightwing administration inventing convenient legal fictions of their own that have great impact on human rights.

Where's the outrage on the part of the oppo party?


[Update: TalkLeft has more. (Via Atrios.)] 

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A non-violent, counter-dominant, left-liberal, possibly charismatic, quasi anarcho-libertarian Quaker's take on politics, volleyball, and other esoterica.

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