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Civil Liberties, Habeas Corpus, and the War on Terror

Hi, I need some help developing ideas for an essay I need to write, based off of the information below.

Soon after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, the Bush administration developed a plan for holding and interrogating captured prisoners. They were sent to a prison inside a U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, on land leased from the government of Cuba. Since 2002, over 700 men have been detained at "GITMO." Most have been released without charges or turned over to other governments. In 2011, Congress specifically prohibited the expenditure of funds to transfer GITMO prisoners to detention facilities in the continental United States, making it virtually impossible to try them in civilian courts. As of April 2012, 169 remained in detention at GITMO (Sutton, 2012).

An assumption made by the Bush administration in selecting this location was that it was beyond the jurisdiction of U.S. courts. The administration wanted to avoid any judicial oversight of how it handled detainees, characterized as "enemy combatants." A possible legal challenge to indefinite detention with no formal charges or judicial proceedings might arise from the habeas corpus provision of the Constitution.

Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution states, "The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it." Under this provision, persons detained by the government are entitled to a judicial hearing to determine if there is any legal basis for their detention. Some legal commentators refer to the right of habeas corpus as the "great writ of liberty" because it is a prisoner's ultimate recourse to an impartial judge who can review the possibility that he is being held illegally by the executive (e.g., the police or the military). In nations that do not honor habeas corpus, people simply disappear into prisons without ever having their day in court.

Several controversial Supreme Court cases have come out of GITMO. One fundamental question that has been debated, but not clearly resolved, is to what extent the war on terror justifies the President's indefinite detention of "enemy combatants" without the possibility of the minimal judicial review protected by habeas corpus? Another issue in the debate is to what extent Congress must clearly authorize the President to conduct extra-judicial detentions in order for them to be legal? In 2008, the Supreme Court's decision in Boumediene v. Bush offered some answers to these questions. However, the deeply divided 5-4 Court and the likelihood of the protracted nature of the war on terror suggest that debate around these important questions will continue. Writing the Final Paper in this course will prepare you to participate intelligently as a citizen in this ongoing debate.

Write an essay about the right of habeas corpus in the context of the war on terror. Your essay should address the following subtopics:
- The general meaning of the right of habeas corpus in the U.S. Constitution and its relationship to the protection of other civil liberties.
- The historical evolution of habeas corpus, including its English and American traditions.
- Examples from U.S. history of the "suspension" of habeas corpus and their applicability to the present.
- The relevance of habeas corpus to the contemporary U.S. situation during the war on terror, especially with respect to persons characterized by the President as "enemy combatants" or "illegal combatants."
- The U.S. Supreme Court's interpretation of the right of habeas corpus with respect to "enemy combatants" or "illegal combatants" (i.e., the views of the five justices making up the majority in Boumediene v. Bush as well as the views of the four dissenting justices).
- Your evaluation of various perspectives on this topic expressed by justices of the Supreme Court, leaders in other branches of government, and commentators in both the academic and popular media. Your assessment should consider several perspectives on this topic, including :
The role of the President as commander-in-chief.
The role of Congress in determining when habeas corpus can be "suspended."
The role of the Supreme Court in protecting civil liberties, including the judicial philosophy which should guide the Court in this role.
- Your personal philosophy, values or ideology about the balance between civil liberties and national security in the context of an unending war on terror.

Follow these requirements when writing the Final Paper:
- The paper must be at least 1,500 words long.
- The paper must start with a short introductory paragraph which includes a clear thesis statement. The thesis statement must tell readers what the essay will demonstrate.
- The paper must end with a short paragraph that states a conclusion. The conclusion and thesis must be consistent.
- The paper must logically develop the thesis in a way that leads to the conclusion, and that development must be supported by facts, fully explained concepts and assertions, and persuasive reasoning.
- The paper must address all subtopics outlined above.

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After the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, President Bush and Congress reacted quickly and within one week of the attacks had adopted a joint resolution that gave the President the authority to use military force against any group or individual that was deemed to have any association with the al Qaeda terrorist network; specifically, any group or individual across the globe who was suspected of helping to aid in the planning of the attacks on the United States was now subject to the policing of the United States government (Jackson, 2010).

This resolution and vow by President Bush and Congress to take on the war against terrorism resulted in massive military, law enforcement, and intelligence missions being launched in the Middle East and around other parts of the globe. These military and policing efforts resulted in thousands of detentions of citizens and non-citizens as potential suspects, however, in many cases, individuals being detained did not have formal charges placed against them, and they were merely being held on "suspicion" (Jackson, 2010).

The most prominent example of indefinite detention of individuals is seen at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba (GITMO). This pattern of indefinite detention of individuals who in many cases have never been charged with a crime has led to a multitude of legal challenges as prisoners have attempted to evoke their rights of habeas corpus in an attempt to get U.S. Federal Courts to hear their cases (Jackson, 2010).

The general meaning of the right of habeas corpus in the U.S. Constitution and its relationship to the protection of other civil liberties:

In today's legal definitions, habeas corpus is the right of an individual who is incarcerated to question their dentition before a judge to validate the legitimacy of their being detained (Primus, 2010). Habeas corpus provisions are found throughout the U.S.' constitutions legal framework, however, the primary provisions that are applicable to U.S. law are found in Article 9(4) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ("the covenant"). This covenant was a byproduct of the United Nations Human Rights Commissions efforts in 1946 to work on creating an International Bill of Rights. Article 9(4) of the covenant essentially states that anyone who is arrested is entitled to take their case before a court who then will determine the lawfulness of the arrest is valid or not and demand the prisoners release if the detention is found to be unlawful. This covenant was entered into force in the United States in 1976 (Primus, 2010).

Additionally, Article XXV of the American Declaration provides the law that states all habeas corpus proceedings have to occur before a valid court (Primus, 2010). Article XXV goes on to detail that U.S. citizens have habeas corpus rights that state all proceedings have to meet procedural fairness. Basically, this gives individuals the guaranteed right of being able to present evidence to try and help support their argument against detention. This article also guarantees that citizens are guaranteed fair legal representation in front of the courts should they choose it as a part of their ...

Solution Summary

The expert examines the civil liberties, habeas corpus and the war on terror.