As a Canadian citizen, I'm somewhat foggy on American law, so here goes:
As stated, under the constitutions (and subsequent amendments) of the United States and Canada, there are Miranda (sp?) Rights.
-The right to remain silent -The right to an attorney -The right to a fair and just trial by a jury of their peers
So, if say, I get arrested for shooting someone, I have the right to a fair trial in a court. If I shoot someone in the United States, I stand trial in America. If in Canada, I stand trial there.
If we were at war, and I committed wartime sabotage or conspiracy, I'd be held as a prisoner of war in the country where I was caught (or, if that wasn't favorable, in the country who caught me) until such a time as a trial could be fairly run.
The idea of just shipping prisoners caught in the USA to Camp X Ray is assinine unless formal war is declared. Padilla deserves a trial.
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So apparently the Justice Department is trying to make Padilla think he needs the Department and that he should trust them and tell them any secrets he knows. They are afraid that if he speaks to a lawyer, he will actually be informed of his rights and not speak.
Could you imagine if it had been CLINTON that had locked someone up on his say-so and simply thrown away the key like this? Limbaugh, Tom DeLay, Bob Grant and their ilk would all need larynx transplants, from wearing their old ones out screaming about it.
(edited by vsp on 10.1.03 0701)
I agree with everything you said (and have said it myself, in some way, shape or form), up until the partisian nonsense. If Clinton had done this in the same situation, there would be a whole different group of people going along with Clinton and the people who agree now would be the ones screaming. There would also be a fairly small group that would oppose this policy no matter who was doing it. No matter, it would still be wrong, and it would still run contrary to the U.S. legal system and to the rights of prisoners of war or prisoners awaiting trial. To me, this is sort of like what Clinton and Reno did to Elian Gonzalez, but on a much larger scale. Returning him to Cuba was flat out wrong and the same people who screamed about sending him back to a totalitarian regime support Bush/Ashcroft's policies that are more akin to the practices of totalitarian regimes. But, it's ok, things would be much, much better if we simply trust the government and if these prisoners just tell everything to the Department of (In)Justice.
The reform would help those who are already here more so than the people at the border. Yet, if you read the Dream Act, the amount of hoops you have to go through is pretty damn crazy. It could at least give them some hope.