Sample Research Paper

Words 2,548


Guantanamo Bay, outside typical legal constraints, holds over 600 detainees who are beyond the reach of judicial procedure anywhere in the world.”(Coates 22)

In modern times, terrible injustices have been carried out in the name of security on thousands who had no effective alternative to law.  Too often courts of law have deprived of the writ of the rule of law with only the most perfunctory assessment.  In the context of a war on terrorism without any end in prospect, this is a somber scene for human rights.  However, there is the concern that unchecked abuse of power begets ever-greater abuse of power.  Moreover, judges do have the duty, even in times of catastrophe, to guard against an unprincipled and exorbitant executive response.

Shackled, handcuffed, hooded, even under sedation, their beards shorn off against their will, they were being flown around the world to Guantanamo Bay, a century-old military outpost detained during the Spanish-American War and later leased from Cuba by the United States. There, they are being kept in tiny chain-link outdoors cages, without mosquito repellent, where (their captors assure us) they are probable to be rained upon.

Historical Technicality

Since Guantanamo Bay is in principle foreign territory, the detainees have no rights under the U.S. Constitution and cannot appeal to U.S. federal courts. Any rights they might have under international law have been decisively denied. According to Rumsfeld, the detainees 11 will be handled not as prisoners of war, because they are not, but as illicit combatants.

United States’ View on the Issue

The Pentagon’s decision to hold certain Taliban and Al Qaeda prisoners at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo, Cuba, started a storm of protest, primarily among America’s closest allies Britain has demanded that three of its citizens be returned for trial there. This is in line with protest to the administration’s earlier plan to put captured terrorists before secret military tribunals where they would be subject to the death penalty.

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