Blogs > Liberty and Power > 'Carte Blanche' American Style

Dec 18, 2006 11:02 am

'Carte Blanche' American Style

Possibly one of the most atavistic decisions ever made in the common law world, was handed down on the 13th December 2006, in the case of Hamdan v. Rumsfeld . This decision came under what is probably one of the most barbaric statutes ever passed in the Anglophone world: the Military Commissions Act, 2006.

I quote from Glenn Greenwald’s summary of the decision: “…alien detainees with no…connection [to the US](the overwhelming majority of detainees…) would have no…right” to habeas corpus, whether under statute or the US Constitution.

In other words: “What is so…indescribably regressive is…Congress' enactment of a law which expressly denies habeas rights to everyone in the world other than U.S. citizens.” The implication: “…we will start to see more and more actual cases of human beings who -- as a result of the MCA -- face life imprisonment under the most inhumane conditions imaginable based on nothing more than George Bush's unreviewed accusation that they are Guilty of Terrorism.”

This is a recrudescence of the infamous ‘lettres de cachet’ of the French monarchy. Political opponents were imprisoned indefinitely without trial, as part of the Divine Right of the French monarch. Vive le roi Americaine!

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