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Two Week Round-Up

Gabe Rottman,
Legislative Counsel,
ACLU Washington Legislative Office
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August 1, 2007

I realize I’ve been asleep at the proverbial switch now for a while now. Mea culpa. I just wrote the bar (hopefully that’s all behind me now). In any event, some key stories from the last two weeks that habeas trackers should note.First item: chubby detainees. Walter Isaacson, the CNN-Time Magazine honcho and Ben Franklin biographer, teased out this little gem from Karl Rove at an Aspen Institute Roundtable.

Rove said that while the president would like to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, he called it “a necessary component of the war on terror.” As for reports of prisoner abuse there, Rove was dismissive. “Our principal health problem down there is gain of weight, we feed them so well,” he said, eliciting groans from the audience.

Moving on, item two—the new executive order governing detention and interrogation.Finally, the courts handed the Bush administration yet another major defeat. This time, a three judge appeals court panel ordered the military and Justice Department to release all pertinent information in a challenge to the Combatant Status Review Tribunals, or CSRTs, which classify detainees as enemy combatants.

The court said meaningful review of the military tribunals would not be possible “without seeing all the evidence, any more than one can tell whether a fraction is more or less than half by looking only at the numerator and not the denominator.”

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