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For this issue of Human Rights, the IRR Bill of Rights Project invited several commentators to help place the "war on terrorism" in historical, legal, and public policy perspective and to consider our role as lawyers in helping maintain "liberty with order" in admittedly dangerous times.
Dissent can be counterproductive and seriously destructive of the larger values of a community. But sometimes civility is ineffective, especially during wartime.
Since September 11, 2001, the executive branch has developed an excess of power while Congress has become passive, resulting in an imbalance of powers. The United States' detachment from its own rule of law principles is affecting civil liberties at home and human rights around the world.
Almost 500 people have been detained in Guantanamo since September 11, 2001. Only ten have been formally charged, and not one case has proceeded beyond initial appearances and preliminary motions. The ABA's official observer in Guantanamo gives a first-hand account of why the system has been described as a "legal black hole."
American foreign policy has been damaged during the "war on terrorism." Much of the world has expressed anger toward U.S. actions. America has compromised its values. Why? And what should we do now?
The March 2003 invasion of Iraq, international violence since the occupation, torture by U.S. forces at Abu Ghraib, and the battle of Fallujah have overshadowed the Iraqi and Arab peoples' concerns for postconflict justice against the regime of Saddam Hussein. Ensuring justice in Iraq is too great a historic opportunity to be missed.
A former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and former President of Ireland opines on the nature of the "war on terrorism" and its implications for the future of Bill of Rights principles in the United States and the rule of law around the world.
Senator McCain discusses his amendment to the 2006 Defense Appropriations Bill, which prohibits the use of "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment" against any individuals in the custody of the United States and establishes the Army Field Manual as the rule book for military interrogations.
There is a place of honor in the legal profession for those who defend the despised. John Gibbons, Frank Dunham, Donna Newman, Jennifer Martinez, and Neal Katyal are five lawyers at the forefront of the effort to give prisoners at Guantanamo due process.