Saturday, March 31, 2007

Hicks-ups

Let's add, to the important concerns that Amelia Earhart [IntLawGrrl Elena Baylis] raises in her above post on David Hicks' sort-of-guilty plea, the condition that he not talk to the media for 12 months -- a condition that Center for Constitutional Rights President Michael Ratner aptly termed "a modern cutting out of his tongue." We've seen these disturbing add-on waivers of rights before.
Recall the case of Louisiana-born Yaser Esam Hamdi, caught in Afghanistan and held for years as an "enemy combatant" in a South Carolina brig. As soon as the Supreme Court held that he was entitled to a due-process-protective hearing on the lawfulness of his detention, the President ordered Hamdi released -- but only after he relinquished his U.S. citizenship.
The nature of these waivers appears transparent. The government contends that Hicks recanted because he had lied -- and yet a reporter with whom I just spoke suggested to me that the very fact that the government is trying so hard to silence Hicks is indicative of the truth of his initial allegations.

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