Thursday, December 06, 2007

"The America I believe in doesn't torture people or use cruel, inhuman treatment; doesn't hold people without charge, without fair trials, without hope, and without end; doesn't kidnap people off the street and ship them to nations known for their brutality; doesn't justify the use of secret prisons; and does not rob people of their basic dignity."
You did it. Thanks to your overwhelming response to our appeal last month, we're running a bright orange full-page ad in today's edition of the New York Times.

What's so important about today?

The Supreme Court will hear Bush administration lawyers attempt to defend the indefensible: that the President can hold people indefinitely, without charge and without question. With fundamental human rights principles on the line let's hope the Supreme Court rejects this lawlessness and demands an end to the injustice that flows from it.

A thousand miles from the Supreme Court steps, Amnesty International will be observing another crucial hearing today. This one will take place at Guantánamo Bay and while it will get less press attention, it is no less important.

While the Supreme Court considers whether or not Congress improperly took away the writ of habeas corpus from detainees in Guantánamo, a hearing will be convened to determine whether or not Salim Ahmed Hamdan is an "unlawful enemy combatant" and subject to trial by military commission. Under the Military Commissions Act, "unlawful enemy combatants" cannot challenge the evidence brought before them or object to being convicted on evidence obtained through brutal means.

The two hearings are not unrelated.

Both challenge the administration's attacks on our system of justice. Both challenge the assertion that fear, not freedom, guides our country. But even more important, both hearings present a clear opportunity to move our nation back on track -- to a place of respect for truth, justice and liberty. As four Supreme Court Justices put it, "[I]if this Nation is to remain true to the ideals symbolized by its flag, it must not wield the tools of tyrants even to resist an assault by the forces of tyranny."

With so much at stake, your support for our work has never been so important. Thank you for standing with us.

In solidarity,

Larry Cox
Executive Director

P.S. Be sure to tear down a piece of Guantánamo Bay, and if you already have, tell your friends and family to get their own piece.
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