Justice Denied at Guantanamo Bay

Friday, May 03, 2013

Fence line around the courtroom for the military commissions taking place at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (Brigid Bergin/WNYC)

Guantanamo Bay, Cuba: 45-square-miles of complex legal questions, where the Constitution may (or may not) apply, and where, as of Wednesday, May 1st, 100 of the 166 detainees are on hunger strike. 

In 2008, in the case Boumediene v. Bush, the Supreme Court ruled that habeas corpus -- the constitutional right to have a court decide whether one is lawfully imprisoned or detained -- must apply in all Guantanamo cases. The Bush Administration agreed to comply with the ruling, and President Obama ordered the prison closed upon taking office a few months later.

Congress refused to implement the President's plans to transfer detainees to American soil, however, and today, over four years after President Obama signed the executive order to close Guantanamo, the prison remains open. 

Jeffrey Rosen, law professor at George Washington University and legal affairs editor at The New Republic, describes the legal complexities embodied in the detention and treatment of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.


Jeffrey Rosen

Produced by:

Jillian Weinberger

Comments [4]

Ritchard Rodriguez from NYC

John, I'm so glad you're devoting the hour to the topic of Justice. My sole and simple comment is that as an artist approaching 40 years of working, my latest painting is indeed entitled Justice with the word Injustice abstractly painted in red over and over. You see, Justice is what I desire but am convinced it just does NOT exist. When the tsunami hit back in 2004, I blamed God, refused to believe in him any longer, saying if he existed there would be Justice. Now I'm just a soul whose head toggles left and right from time to time. 2012 and 2013 have been rough, and I often cringe with the news reports I get - hungry for Justice. Yes, how just it would be if we would live in the world of Perry Mason.
The painting: http://www.ritchardrodriguez.com/2-abstractions-1.html

And, I very much love your program!

May. 03 2013 09:32 AM

Do the producers of The Takeaway regard Jeffrey Rosen as the in-house legal expert? Are there no other legal experts in the Rolodex? How many times a year is Jeffrey Rosen invited as the one and only legal expert to opine on any given legal topic of the day? 20? 30? More?

Your intent, I presume, is to present Rosen as a general all-purpose legal expert from academia. An "expert" from the Georgetown Law Center. To whom people should listen, for an authoritative view of the law.

He is not presented as a progressive ideologue, nor are his appearances balanced by opposing legal advocates.

This is the essence of The Takeaway's liberal bias, isn't it? That a liberal like Rosen is a regular feature of the program, and his appearances feature John Hockenberry in the role of helpful host, rather than as a cross-exmining interrogator.

May. 03 2013 09:29 AM

Congressional pushback?
This President had a Democratic controlled Congress
for two years. Where was this issue in Obama's
first term? How about a historical review there?
Can we have some honesty rather then sophisty in the analysis?

May. 03 2013 09:17 AM
Pat from Chicago USA

justice to me speaks of the poor and misrepresented who enter the criminal justice system.
speaking of justice in general I often recall the song "Rotting on Remand" by the British artist Billy Bragg. The character in the song is picked 'on suspicion of something he hadn't done' and put in jail. the character cries in the courtroom after being denied bail that "'there is no justice' at they lead me out the door. The judge said, 'this isn't a court of justice, son, this is a court of law.'"

May. 03 2013 09:17 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.