Center for Constitutional Rights Condemns Move by the Government to Dismiss Guantánamo Cases

Days before the New Year, the Bush Administration worked through Congress to strip federal courts of jurisdiction over the fate of the detainees at Guantánamo despite a June 2004 Supreme Court ruling granting them the right to bring applications for habeas corpus in U.S. courts. The government unilaterally declared the detainees enemy combatants without any process and is holding them indefinitely. This was accomplished by means of a last minute amendment to the Military Authorization Bill, without committee deliberations and virtually no advance warning to the American people of its serious ramifications.

Now comes word that the first task this Administration has chosen to undertake in the New Year is a motion filed today arguing for the dismissal of all pending Guantánamo habeas corpus petitions.

The United States government, under the leadership of President George W. Bush, made perfectly clear its intent to create a gulag at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba - a permanent black hole into which the Administration will toss any person it chooses to disappear forever, without a trial, without hope, and without justice. If the government's position is adopted, no longer will victims of torture be allowed to sue, or to even air the fact of their abuse in any court. The attempt to dismiss these cases is a crude and flagrant violation of the laws and Constitution of the United States and the treaties and human rights laws of the nations of the world. Clearly this President believes that he is above the law and seeks unlimited and unbridled authority to continue his lawless ways. The Center for Constitutional Rights will fight this imperial presidency and this craven and cynical version of American democracy in the 21st Century.

While the Administration and its supporters have tried to characterize the men being held at Guantánamo as the worst of the worst against all evidence, the fact remains that even the military has admitted the innocence of many individuals at Guantánamo. Most have no ties to Al Qaeda, many were turned over to the U.S. for bounty, and even more were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. If they have no way to appeal their innocence or their status, they will be left to rot in detention indefinitely.

The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at


Last modified 

October 23, 2007