FROM Jennifer Daskal
Does the US Still Need the Prison at Guantanamo Bay? Barack Obama's first presidential order was to close Guantánamo Bay. Even George W. Bush agreed. But as he began his second term in January of this year, the special envoy for closing Guantánamo was dismissed without a replacement, and 166 prisoners are still there. More than half are on a hunger strike and, last week, military guards put down an uprising. We hear what classified documents reveal about inmate behavior and abusive treatment of prisoners being held without charge. Is there still a "war on terror" requiring military tribunals? Will there be future "enemy combatants" too dangerous to handle in America's court system? (Special thanks to Leilia Thayer for help in producing this discussion.)
Guantanamo: The War on Terror and the Rule of Law President Bush ’ s claims of executive power over terrorist suspects have run into more trouble in both civilian and military courts. Last week, two military judges ruled that a Presidential order is not enough to give them jurisdiction over the prisoners held atGuantánamo Bay. Yesterday, a federal appellate court said the President cannot hold a civilian suspect without charge by calling him an "enemy combatant." Judge Diana Gribbon Motz said that would have "disastrous consequences for the Constitution -- and the country. " Colin Powell wants to close Guantánamo , "not tomorrow but this afternoon." What ’ s the point of keeping it open? Are the White House and the Pentagon trying to protect interrogation techniques that may be counter-productive?
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
Trump's ethical conflicts pile up as transparency diminishes President Trump's refusal to reveal his income tax returns is just one example of a lack of transparency that could be hiding conflicts of interest. Other conflicts are already obvious from his appointments. And he's being sued for using his job to increase his profits.
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.