Friday, September 15, 2006

Long Overdue

I've been meaning to get into the nuts and bolts of the dueling bills on detainee treatment, detainee classification and the related tribunals and legal processes that are currently before the nation's lawmakers, but the enormity of the topic has prevented me from making much progress. Lucky for me, and more importantly the reader, my scattered thoughts won't be necessary.

Instead, I submit the efforts of my betters: Katherine and Hilzoy at Obsidian Wings, Publius at Legal Fiction, Glenn Greenwald at Unclaimed Territory and the whole crew at Balkinization. Greg Djerejian does us all a service by putting most of these resources in one convenient place. So I'll steal from Greg in lieu of a bottle of scotch that he no doubt owes me for something or other:

A cri de coeur, and a righteous one, from Jack Balkin. An important post from Hilzoy. Meantime, Katherine, also writing over at ObWi, has been blogging up a storm too. More background notes from Katherine, with loads of links here and here.

I want to make two points in parting: First, the two bills are both bad. Choosing the McCain bill would still be a severe blow to our image in the world, and our legal traditions - even though the media will spin this as a real choice between vastly different alternatvies. It is not.

Second, this matter is far more important than -crucial even - than 99.9% of the other stories currently being discussed in the media. Forget about Whitney Houston's divorce, or Jonbenet Ramsey, these bils could re-define many of our most cherised legal doctrines.

All done at the 11th hour in an election year for the most cynical and rank reasons.

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