ENEMY COMBATANT: HELD AT 1600 PENNSYLVANIA AVE?
Basically, label an immigrant an "enemy combatant," and hold him indefinitely, denying him all facets of due process: a lawyer, a speedy trial, a civilian court, rules of evidence recognized under the common law or the Federal Rules, and most damningly, any habeus corpus review of the detention in the first place.
And this is precisely what's happening to Ali Saleh Kahlah Al-Marri, a citizen of Qatar. He was "arrested in 2001 while studying in the United States," and is still held in a South Carolina prison, denied any due process.
Getting back to where I started, this is the sort of nonsense for which we smacked down Bush & his allies last week. And here's one -- just one -- area that the Dems can do something when they take over in January. I'm not saying they have to walk in the door, take their oaths, and start freeing every terror suspect. For all I know this guy could be guilty, which is one reason he should be tried and if required, convicted.
But the Dems should start early enough exploring the repeal of certain distasteful laws & initiatives. This is certainly one. The renewed Patriot Act is another. Bush & the NSA's wiretapping program. I'm not up on Administrative Law, nor do I know much about parliamentary procedure or congressional rules. But they should be looking into every option.
From now til January, we can continue to bitch about this stuff. And it's up to the press (yeah, right) and we noisemakers to draw attention to Administration efforts to ram unfavored policy down our throats. But starting in two months, this kind of thing is on the Congressional Democrats. We gave them a role. They should act it out. Aggressively.
We want our country back, they want their jobs. Both sides need to keep the bargain.