GUANTANAMO: American Supreme Court verdict – The president went beyond his executive powers by instituting special tribunals.
Does the war against terrorism justify anything? Even the horrors and the torture? After the shock of September 11, 2001, the people of the United States followed their president as though they were a single man – media and legal system included – in its battle to save American values by all means possible. But paradoxically, in doing so they ran the risk of undermining the very foundations of democracy itself. It has therefore taken five years to come to grips with the actual condition of the United States. Yesterday, it was the judgment of the American Supreme Court that the president had greatly exceeded his powers, and that the special tribunals that Bush had helped to create violate the Geneva conventions on prisoners of war, one of the pillars of international law.
If the Justices of the Supreme Court had focused their attention on Guantanamo, the symbol of his obsession with security, let’s not forget that Guantanamo is just the tip of the iceberg. In recent years under the guise of the war against terrorism, it is the freedom of the individual that has been most seriously curtailed by the Bush Administration. This is true in the United States, but equally abroad. Tapping phones without a warrant and spying on bank transactions are quite revealing, and are just a few of the actions that have created a noxious climate that ultimately makes every citizen a potential suspect.
By focusing on Guantanamo, the Supreme Court said, however timidly of course, to curtail the obsession with security. Loudly and clearly, it asked George Bush to respect the sacred values of the United States. It is about time!
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