Thursday, October 07, 2010

Judge refuses to undermine foundation of law

This is what you get when you adopt torture as an interrogation method.

Minutes before a major terrorism trial was about to begin, a federal judge barred prosecutors in Manhattan on Wednesday from using a key witness.

The government had acknowledged it learned about the witness from the defendant, Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, while he was being interrogated while being held in a secret overseas jail run by the Central Intelligence Agency.

New York Times, October 6, 2010

Adopt torture as policy, and you not only disgrace the country, you also make trying a probable criminal in any real court impossible.

Judge Lewis A. Kaplan spelled out the issue very clearly:

“The court has not reached this conclusion lightly,” Judge Kaplan said as he read his order from the bench. “It is acutely aware of the perilous nature of the world in which we live. But the Constitution is the rock upon which our nation rests. We must follow it not only when it is convenient, but when fear and danger beckon in a different direction. To do less would diminish us and undermine the foundation upon which we stand.”

The judge did indicate that he believes the government could hold this person prisoner for the duration of the war on al Qaeda, whenever that might be. The government may find some way around this clear decision -- but for the moment, the country should be grateful that some of our institutions have not been completely corrupted by fear, arrogance and vengeful anger.

1 comment:

Stephanie - Green SAHM said...

Glad to see a judge with some sense. We can't let fear of terrorism undermine our values.

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