January 13, 2004

Justices Let Stand Secret Lists

Supreme Court Roundup: Justices Allow Policy of Silence on 9/11 Detainees

The fact that the US Supreme Court has let this ruling stand frightens me.

Without comment, the court let stand a ruling by a federal appeals court here that had accepted the Bush administration's rationale for refusing to disclose either the identities of those it arrested, most of whom have since been deported for immigration violations unrelated to terrorism, or the circumstances of the arrests.

I doubt that anyone can point to one thing that caused the downfall of any given country; it's a cumulation of things, a bouillabaisse of little injustices. Secret arrests, though, cannot be considered a "good thing". If nothing else, it's a violation of habeus corpus -- a basis of pretty much all western law. And the justices know this -- and ignored it.

I understand the issues. By matching arrest and deportation patterns, someone could figure out who and what the US knows. Simple enough. But at what point do we violate the basis of our country?

When we start taking away freedom of one person, do we invalidate the "land of freedom" moniker that we dear Americans treasure so much? How about two people? 10 people, 100 people, 1000 people? How about 100,000?

I don't suggest we stand by while the sword gets shoved into our gut; but secret lists are what little banana republics do, not what we do. That's what seperates us from being a dictatorship, the little things.

Posted by Ted Stevko at January 13, 2004 08:13 AM | TrackBack