As a result of the Senate 's vote, Guantanamo detainees would no longer be able to challenge the very basis for their detention. In other words, they would no longer be entitled to demand that the U.S. demonstrate that it has good reason (hell, any reason) to suspect an individual of terrorist activity. Detainees, who are only suspected of terrorism, would no longer have access to any legal proceedings (not even the sham proceedings they are currently afforded) in order to demand some kind of legal and factual foundation for the allegations leveled against them.
Several of those released from Guantanamo were released following the administrative hearings into their detention - hearings which occurred only because they were required by the Supreme Court. The Senate now wants to eliminate the very hearings that have resulted in the liberation of hundreds of wrongly suspected, detained, and interrogated individuals. The Senate wants to give the Bush administration unfettered discretion to detain anyone it chooses to label as the enemy, regardless of that person 's actual innocence.
There is nothing just about the baseless detention of innocent people. Indeed, it is emphatically unjust to indefinitely detain innocent people without charge and without legal recourse. It is not merely unjust, but indefensible. It is outrageous and contrary to everything for which this country, its government, and its people profess to stand.
The Senate 's recent vote is further horrifying in that it grants the Bush administration the absolute and extra-legal authority it had previously granted itself - an authority the Supreme Court deemed unconstitutional. Thanks to the Senate, the Bush administration once again has the authority to determine who is an enemy combatant, detain them without charge or evidence, and throw away the key. Put differently, the Senate has effectively placed the Bush administration above the law and has eliminated the judiciary as a check on the administration 's actions.
Of course, since most of the self-described conservatives are merely Republicans in principled clothing, they applaud a Republican Congress ' granting of absolute power to the Republican President. That the Constitution is reduced to a collection of inspirational phrases is a worthy sacrifice. After all, the continued dominance of the Republican party vastly outweighs the continued validity of the Constitution.
Through their vote to vest Bush with an emperor 's authority, the Senate has betrayed its hatred and contempt for the Constitution, the U.S., and fundamental democratic principles. By exempting the Bush administration from the quaint requirements of the Constitution, the Senate has made great strides toward completing this country 's transformation from democracy to dictatorship.