FROM Scott Silliman
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?
New Legislation Suspends Habeas Corpus for Terror Detainees After a White House compromise with Republican Senators McCain , Warner and Graham last week, Congress passed the Military Commissions Act . With a few exceptions, the final votes in the Senate and Congress went along party lines. President Bush's signing ceremony for the legislation, which sets the rules for the treatment of terrorist suspects, is expected to be a high-profile political moment. But conservative legal scholars are among those contending that the new law will violate the Constitution and pave the way for a police state. The writ of habeas corpus was designed to prevent kings from letting their enemies die in prison without trial. Will the new law give the President that kind of power? Will it allow torture under another name or does it protect traditional safeguards while making Americans safer from a new kind of danger?
White House flip flops: NATO, Syria and China In less than 100 days, President Trump has contradicted himself on a host of foreign policy issues — Syria, NATO, China and Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Is it a strength — or a weakness — for the United States when the world of power politics never knows what to expect?
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.