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Commentary :: Politics
BTL:Guantanamo Detainees Subjected to Pentagon-Run "Kangaroo Court"
27 Aug 2004
Modified: 10:46:22 PM
Interview with Michael Ratner, principal attorney for prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay, U.S. Naval Base conducted by Between the Lines' Scott Harris
Guantanamo Detainees Subjected to Pentagon-Run "Kangaroo Court"

Interview with Michael Ratner, principal attorney for prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay, U.S. Naval Base conducted by Scott Harris

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court issued two landmark rulings which affirmed the legal rights of both U.S. and foreign citizens to challenge their military detention before a judge or other neutral decision-maker. The ruling rejected arguments made by the White House that the president should retain unchecked power to hold prisoners it labels as "enemy combatants," without charge and without access to the courts. The cases were filed on behalf of a U.S. citizen and 16 foreign born men seized in Afghanistan during the U.S invasion there in 2001 and 2002.

Now the Pentagon is conducting war crimes trials for some prisoners at Guantanamo and "Combatant Status Review Tribunals" in what the government says is an effort to comply with the Supreme Court ruling. These hearings are conducted by three officers where prisoners are provided with a "personal representative," who as military officers, have no right to confidential consultation with their clients. Additionally, detainees have no right to know the source of charges filed against them.

But, human rights groups and attorneys involved in the cases have condemned the proceedings as non-compliant with the Supreme Court's decision. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights and a principal attorney for prisoners being held at Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base. He assesses the Bush administration's compliance with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling to provide these detainees with due process.

Contact the Center for Constitutional Rights by calling (212) 614-6464 or visit their website at Michael Ratner is co-author with with Ellen Ray, of the book: "Guantanamo: What The World Should Know."

Related links:

"Guantanamo's military trials are condemned as grossly unfair," by Andrew Buncombe, The Independent, Aug. 23 2004

"Bush Administration Memos on Torture Policy Reveal Official Complicity in Abuse of Iraqi Prisoners," Between The Lines interview with Michael Ratner, conducted by Scott Harris, Between The Lines for week ending 6/25/04

LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below:
"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit: httC://
"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Weekly Summary" which features a RealAudio link to the week's program for Between The Lines, send an email to btlsummary-subscribe (at)
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Q&A" which features a RealAudio link and weekly transcript to one of the interviews featured on Between The Lines, send an email to btlqa-subscribe (at)
betweenthelines (at)
Distributed by Squeaky Wheel Productions, Inc.
(c)2004 Squeaky Wheel Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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