A Writ of Habeas Corpus is an authoritative order forcing governments to provide the “body” of the detainee in which the legality of their detention and individual liberties will be challenged. Historically associated with civil liberty violation and the injustice of illegally detaining potentially enemies of the state, jurisdictional issues regarding their detaining location have made justice difficult to administer and deliver. Detaining enemies for their participation, involvement, and/or ties to threats of terror towards the United States will result the confinement of combatants, as solidified by the US Constitution, however, to what extent will they be forced to stay?. Residents of Guantanamo Bay are just; enemies of the state, accused individual that have been arrested and detain with minimal civil human rights to our jurisdictional due process that we American’s hold dear; with only a Writ of Habeas Corpus as their life line to legality and freedom. Although controversial in its conception and implementation by US presidential administration, judiciary members have cordially interpreted cases of questionable detention and the legality of doing so. It is truly unfortunate when individuals are tossed into confinement illegally with no help and/or the promise of their restorative freedoms (ACLU, 2014).
Too many Guantanamo Bay detainees have been abused in the prison by the large, deep water harbor on Cuba’s southeastern coast; one of the best-protected bays in the world (“Guantanamo Bay” 1). With all sorts of new and unique torture tactics being used at this prison, American citizens are unaware that they are being represented in such an unruly manner by their own military forces. According to many sources, close to 250 prisoners are said to be left at Gitmo. These men are held behind bars because of politically motivated convictions which cannot be defended in court (Lithwick 1). At least 21 alleged convicts were killed during (or after) their interrogations while in custody (Ardiente 2). Many reports of the long-term effects the imprisonment has on the men inside those prison doors. Some of the long-term effects placed on the detainees include hallucinations, loss of weight, anxiety, confusion, impaired eyesight, issues with concentrating, and hostility (Greenberg 5). America falls short of policies and training that prevent the effects of the prolonged interrogations. “Since there was no way of knowing if any “humiliating or degrading treatment” was causing long-t...
Hamdi et al. v. Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense, et al. could prove the undoing of the Bush administration’s legal defense of the abuses at Guantanamo Bay. In this case, four British citizens are suing Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld as well as a host of Army and Air Force Generals and policy apparatchiks for allegedly authorizing the use of torture in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay. The four were captured in Afghanistan, either by Americans or America’s ally, the Northern Alliance, and transported to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba where they were held for over two years. Their status there was not as enemy combatant, which guaranteed them certain protections under the Geneva Convention, but rather as unlawful combatants. They were held without being charged of a crime, without legal representation and were never even brought before a military judge until Rasul v. Bush established their Habeas Corpus rights. They were released in March 2004 without being charged.
In her essay Can U.S. Citizens Be Held as Enemy Combatants, Jennifer Vanklausen explores the ethical question of our government’s policy to hold American citizens suspected of terrorist activity against the United States as enemy combatants, withholding their constitutional rights as provided in the fifth and sixth amendments, during an undeclared war.
Detainees from Guantanamo Bay are subject to many forms of torture by military officials and officers, so that information is forced out of people perceived to be threats; Press illustrates this, “A story in Newsday published just after Mohammed’s arrest quoted a former CIA official who, describing a detainee transferred from Guantanamo Bay to Egypt, said ‘They promptly tore his fingernails out and he started telling things’ ” (Press). In fact, anyone thought to be a national threat at any given period of history were subject to torture, as situations can “routinely stray from the isolated, extreme scenario” (Press). The concern over whether that suspect is really a true suspect isn’t pondered over, and there are no fair trials given to these detainees—some are American citizens, surprisingly. Charles D. Stimson in the periodical claims that this is actually untrue, as he states: “The NDAA has not impacted the conditions under which a U.S. citizen may (or may not) be detained. In fact, section 1021 of the NDAA is explicit: The law regarding how U.S. citizens are handled, including the right to habeas corpus [the right to seek judicial review of one's imprisonment], is the same today as it was the day before it was passed” (Stimson 1). Then there is the issue over a suspension
The book’s title, with its dry allusion to the separation of powers, does not do it justice. “Guantánamo and the Abuse of Presidential Power” represents the best account yet of what Mr. Margulies calls “a human rights debacle that will eventually take its place alongside other wartime misadventures, including the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, the prosecutions under the Espionage and Sedition Acts during World War I, and the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus during the Civil War.”
McDowell, Gary L. “The Explosion and Erosion of Rights.” In Bodenhamer, David J. and Ely, James W. The Bill of Rights in Modern America. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008. Print.
Hickok, Eugene W., ed. The Bill of Rights: Original Meaning and Current Understanding. Charlottesville: UP of Virginia, 1991.
 Hickok, Eugene Jr., ed. The Bill of Rights: Original Meaning and Current Understanding. Virginia: University Press of Virginia, 1991