Can you tell it’s an election year?
From Swampland comes this transcript of McCain’s statements during a town hall…
The United States Supreme Court yesterday rendered a decision which I think is one of the worst decisions in the history of this country. Sen. Graham and Sen. Lieberman and I had worked very hard to make sure that we didn’t torture any prisoners, that we didn’t mistreat them, that we abided by the Geneva Conventions, which applies to all prisoners.
But we also made it perfectly clear, and I won’t go through all the legislation we passed, and the prohibition against torture, but we made it very clear that these are enemy combatants, these are people who are not citizens, they do not and never have been given the rights that citizens of this country have.
And my friends there are some bad people down there. There are some bad people. So now what are we going to do. We are now going to have the courts flooded with so-called, quote, Habeas Corpus suits against the government, whether it be about the diet, whether it be about the reading material. And we are going to be bollixed up in a way that is terribly unfortunate, because we need to go ahead and adjudicate these cases.
Oh…the horror! Habeas suits! Yeah, our legal system will really get crushed under the weight of all of those…
The thing missing from his remarks is the idea that these people aren’t just getting the chance to file frivolous lawsuits…they’re getting the chance to file ANY lawsuit because now they actually have access to legal counsel.
Of course Republicans don’t like this because they see enemy combatants as defacto prisoners of war, captured from some mythical country of “Terroristas”, but this isn’t a war against a tactic we can’t detain people indefinitely and deny them access to legal counsel. It just doesn’t work that way. Either they committed a crime we can try them for or they didn’t.
Also, another potential positive to emerge from this decision is now we’ll have to make absolutely sure that the people we’re snatching can actually be tried and convicted. So this ruling may actually put LESS of a burden on us in the long run.
One of the worst decisions in history? Not by a long shot.