Consensus Building in Congress to Uphold Geneva Conventions in Treatment of Guantanamo Detainees
Interview with Wells Dixon, Center for Constitutional Rights attorney, conducted by Scott Harris
The June 29, Supreme Court decision which found that President George Bush's plan to try detainees held at the U.S. Naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, by military commissions violated both the U.S. Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Geneva Conventions, has sparked congressional debate on the legal rights these terrorist suspects should be accorded.
President Bush had initially wanted to subject hundreds of detainees held at Guantanamo to proceedings that would allow the use of evidence obtained from "coercive interrogation," a euphemism for torture, and limit detainee's right to hear evidence introduced against them. White House lawyers and some Republicans in Congress are advocating that legislation be passed to legalize the military commissions struck down by the Supreme Court. But a bipartisan group of legislators and military lawyers support trials for the detainees based on the Uniform Code of Military Justice that guides court-martials of U.S. soldiers.
In testimony before a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing July 13, top lawyers from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines expressed public disagreement with the Bush administration on how terrorist suspects held at Guantanamo and elsewhere should be treated. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Wells Dixon, an attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights that represents Guantanamo Bay detainees. He assesses the congressional debate over how detainees held at Guantanamo, will be tried.
Contact the Constitutional Rights at (212) 614-6464 or visit their website www.ccr-ny.org
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