Yesterday the Senate passed the Graham Amendment that nullifies non-citizens' rights to access our court system. This sends the wrong kind of signal to the world. We are supposed to be a civilized nation and it's time we stood up to the abuse of power that is the Bush Administrations "Culture of Corruption". The Center For Constitutional Rights has set up another letter to send to your Senators. Please join me in sending them the right message.
Support Bingaman Amendment
The Graham amendment creates a legal black hole of almost unimaginable proportions for those swept up by the Bush Administration's "war on terror." The Supreme Court ruled last year in CCR's case, Rasul v. Bush, that the detainees at Guantanamo have the right to challenge their detention in U.S. court - they did not want the Executive branch of the government to be able to lock people up and throw away the key. If the Bingaman amendment does not pass, the Bush Administration will have successfully stripped federal courts of jurisdiction to hear the cases of the Guantanamo detainees.
The last time this country suspended habeas corpus was for the internment of tens of thousands of Japanese Americans during World War II, a travesty that is now universally recognized as a blot on our nation's history.
While the Administration and its supporters have tried to characterize the men being held at Guantanamo as the worst of the worst against all evidence, the fact is that even the military has admitted that they often apprehended the wrong people. Some were children, most have no ties to Al Qaida, many were turned over to the U.S. for bounty, and many more were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. If they have no way to appeal their innocence or their status, they will be left to rot in detention indefinitely.
I join the Center for Constitutional Rights in urging you to support the Bingaman amendment to the defense authorization bill which would remove the section of the Graham Amendment that strips U.S. court of the right to review writs of habeas corpus from Guantanamo detainees. Habeas Corpus is a fundamental right that our entire legal tradition is founded on. Unfettered Executive power jeopardizes our free and democratic society. Creating "no law zones" of unreviewable Executive power at Guantanamo undermines the moral standing of the United States in eyes of the world and endangers the lives of U.S. soldiers abroad. Please join me in supporting the Bingaman Amendment.