Gitmo, Enemy Combatants and Torture: The End of the Rule of Law in America – University of Kansas – Speech Notes – PDF

2004 Gitmo, Enemy Combatants and Torture: The End of the Rule of Law in America

Gitmo, enemy combatants and torture: the end of the rule of law in America­

Book, hat, flyer, metal bar

What the matter with Kansas—

Not just Kansas– ask what the matter the Matter with Rest of the Country?

I don’t get it- get asked- how can support this administration? Not question of democ republican- threat to our values–

issues like Defecit, jobs, medicare, privatizing, mercury in our fish, roads thru road less wilderness, lied to about Iraq,—most serious- my book- against war with iraq

and then my area- const and law- indefinite detention s , torture, , checks and balances- ended moral authority of America—-dog eat dog- lawless- less safe

2 days ago looked up Canada citizenship-out of their minds- fight in iraq- for what­ flatly illegal war- tore asunder key document and rule–UN

Don’t envy what you have to look forward- pretty bleak- my own children–

In my years as a civil rights and human rights lawyers, never faced what we are facing today- cannot believe the road we are being taken down by bush administration

Yet I still have great hope in recovery, our capacity to change–

Been through a lot- very bad moments and then recoveries- history is not static- but recovery is not inevitable- there is not some law- wake up tomorrow- and gitmo closed-

–victory which I will talk about in set- not by chance—by resistance- to stand for what we knew was right—can’t throw the key away- hate mail- eventually – victory- most important civil rights

It takes fighting, resistance, speaking out—

the bad only is followed by the good when there is resistance- popular resistance of every type- in the courts and in the streets–protest- like we had on feb15 like we had in

ny at me – 2nd superpower

Saw this in my life: not just with the recent victory of gitmo

Later days of civil right movement; king and Kennedy murdered- riots in the streets­ but bought us the voting rights act; the civil rights act; and now from 1 to over 2000 elected officials in the south; title vii as well

The war in Vietnam-murder on an imaginable scale-beaten at Columbia

–Restraints on executive power- end we thought of imperial presidency; war powers resolution; ieepa;

–misuse of the fbi–describe

church hearings; limits on cia; limits on fbi

then central American wars, grenada, panama-was there for all that- not always 1991 coup in Haiti and the refugee crisis—hunger strikes pickets

aristide restored; the refugee crisis over

you get the idea-I have seen the bad, seen the resistance and seen the good—

admonish you-we can change if not the world-at least make it better- we did it­ my son says- but then he saw gitmo fight—-

leads us to where we are now–

  1. Where are we now-well as I will describe in the one area I know the best-const rights, human rights and rule of law —a low point, a nadir, a point I hope we can recover from—like we have been cast in some dark hole—feels like when I read my college histories about the dark ages or the inquisition or the crusades; a period before the enlightenment-a period of rule by the divine right of kings; rule by fiat; trial by

–End of democracy and our republic- Magna Carta-

case some light- but not out by a long shot–

I will describe through a particular area where I have focused on-Guantanamo enemy combatants and torture—

IIA. Set in a context of what has occurred since 9/11–Before detail gitmo some of the broad themes I see in this period-

  1. Maximum power to the executive—system of checks and balances

Law and legal restraints pushed aside-wherever from-const; international law UN Charter and use of force

(ICJ and ICC)

Kyoto ABM

Geneva- gitmo– CAT-torture– Const: 1, 4, 5, 6, , 14–

Rarely seen before-arrests, detentions, kangaroo courts trials, wars, killings

2.  Scapegoating of non-citizens/muslims and religion

Heard a lot about this-

Post 9/11 arrests- turkmen Prosecutions-0 for 5000

Capt yee; Brandon Mayfield; Detroit case—

Guantanamo itself- non citizens Harm, less safe–resources

3.  Attack on dissent-serious-that is how we change our world­

dissent is what liberty is about

began: from ari fleisher- watch what you say and what you do not question why

Tim robbins- hall of fame

includes a subservient media- nyt and wp-iraq–­ fbi spying-on first amendment–cameras

but most of all limits on protest—feb 15 and nyc—mc and around the world- new book by nlg- harpers–

III. How did this come about-how able to get away with it?

  1. Can’t really talk about denial of civil liberties and abandonment of law without talking about warand fear—

For it is war and fear that cloaks the president with maximum power-nation in jeopardy

It is war and fear that cows a population-scared and look to a leader

It is war and fear that makes dissent unpatriotic-with us or against us

It is war and fear that brings tyranny abroad and tyranny at home—a friend hedges explained this by talking about empire–war and tyranny-

Quote—Read how Athens expanding empire saw it become a tyrant abroad and then a tyrant at home. How the tyranny the Athenian leadership imposed on others it finally imposed on itself. This Thucydides wrote, is what doomed Athenian democracy. Athens destroyed itself. For the instrument of empire is war and war is a poison.”

Athens is not the only example—Caesar–

IllA. And fear everywhere—fear exploited-even to win the election­

Vice President Cheney: sept

If John Kerry was elected president, Cheney warned the crowd, “the danger is that we’ll get hit again.”

I don’t have data or intelligence to tell me one thing or another, [but] I would think they would be more apt to go [for] somebody who would file a lawsuit with the World Court or something rather than respond with troops,” Dennis Hastert said of Kerry.

Asked by reporters whether he believed al-Qaida could operate better with Kerry in the White House, Hastert replied: “That’s my opinion, yes.

  1. The fear engendered by 9/11 gave Bush a real opportunity to take on maximum power; an imperial mantle–and he did so:

Recall 2001-after attacks-ist actions after reading my pet goat Arrests on pretexts-turkmen

Patriot act-libraries, wiretapping, detentions, terrorism Fbi spying

Authorization to use force–anywhere in world Military order number one:—

And then Guantanamo—-came out of the war in Afghanistan

—captured or bribed or grudges-

what to do with them-POW camp-geneva clear

Not this time–call them something else–unknown-enemy combatants-no law First Kandahar then Guantanamo–

That is where the real lawlessness began-indefinite and incommunicado detentions; no courts; no lawyers; abuse and torture

Lawlessness which led directly to abu ghraib-

David Hicks first client-of CCR-to Gitmo–in January-pu in Afghanistan How many there now

Why gitmo– What is Gitmo

My history-no law-no court can hear a case–haitians

Call it what it is-executive detention-detention without trial

-legal history-rasul-50 years-magna carta what since then-

While we were keeping our eye on hicks and indefinite detentions-a lot more was going on in the administration-shocking stuff-the groundwork for torture-­ Memos; authorizations and the acts

  1. the memos

A debate in the administration-memos Should they apply the Geneva Conventions?

What kind of debate is that? They apply in international armed conflicts­ US and afghan. Signatories; red cross

Debate–one side–alberto gonzalez/president Do not apply bee no uniforms etc/no pows

But memos give real reasons-geneva prohibits cruel inhuman treatment US law makes war crime

Gonzalez worried about war crimes

So way back then jan 2002 knew abuse; needed a defense–top-

Powell argued-better to apply 100 years; moral authority

what about our soldiers well we know who won

more memos:

can president torture in name of national security? And redefine torture

Implementation- at the highest levels Rumsfeld memo

Special Access program

The Acts-the implementation-carried out First Gitmo—tipton

False confessions Exhibit e

Then like blood stain on the fabric of our country seeped into Iraq

–reports say should not have–geneva applied-some excuse facts: 2002 insurgency; miller; photos

not saying approved that-but the conditions now were are in the massive cover-up period-i yamashita

doing something about it–

we have lost our moral authority we have made our soldiers less safe

gitmo and abu ghraib iconic in the muslim world

Repairing the damage will not be easy Victory by s ct was the beginning Opposition to the war was a beginning But it will take a lot more

As l said I have seen the bad-and seen the good- that can emerge But the good does not follow as day does night

We must make it happen

As rap song I just Listened to ended:

Speak your mind Free your mind

Lets change the direction of this country——