September 29, 2007
There are 340 Guantanamo Bay prisoners left in Uncle $am's clutches according to Uncle $am. Now Uncle $am is saying that the highest security or "high value" detainees will receive access to lawyers.(1)
Perhaps this is a victory against monarchism, but it is still unclear. Left out is whether that means lower-value detainees already have access to lawyers. Perhaps we are seeing bad journalism, perhaps lawyers without the ability to explain the overall picture or perhaps many prisoners should be released for time served and the issue resolved that way.
The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) says it has access to one prisoner, but its two lawyers had to have the highest security clearance.(2) So it sounds as though lawyers approved by the government are allowed access. CCR says that its access to its client is still short of habeas corpus. A district judge in DC denied habeas corpus to 16 prisoners by saying the courts have no jurisdiction over legal no-man's land in Cuba called Guantanamo Bay.(3)
Meanwhile other lower-value detainees trickle out one at a time.
The Congress did not filibuster when prisoners lost their habeas corpus rights, but there was a Senate filibuster to stop them from receiving their rights. The leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee lost a Senate vote despite having 56 out of 100 votes.(4)
The Republican Party is anxious to raise campaign funds by toying with the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay. The more difficult they make life for prisoners there, the more campaign funds the executive branch can raise from Republican Party supporters, especially the labor aristocracy.
The CCR says that the Supreme Court will be confronted with the issue in December. In the meantime, it appears that the executive branch is saying that all prisoners have some type of access to the court system, but this is unclear, because the overall picture is unclear.
1. http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5hHR1LfFlXQmXWO_c2LguDphgK7Vg ;