A federal judge has ordered the Pentagon to give the ACLU “immediate and unmonitored access” to an American citizen detained in Iraq and accused of fighting for ISIS. They declared him an “enemy combatant” and tried to use the same ridiculous argument Bush used with the State Secrets Privilege.
In a ruling issued late on Saturday, U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan denied a government request to dismiss an ACLU challenge to the unidentified man’s detention, rejecting the claim that the organization has no standing in the matter.
Chutkan ruled that the Defense Department should provide the ACLU with “temporary, immediate and unmonitored access” to the man to determine if he wants the organization to pursue a habeas corpus petition on his behalf and provide him with legal advice…Chutkan dismissed as “disingenuous at best” a Pentagon argument that the ACLU has no standing in the case because it has been unable to confer or meet with the detainee, and cannot prove that detainee wants the group to pursue a habeas corpus petition on his behalf.
The Defense Department is “the sole impediment” to the ACLU’s access to the detainee, the judge said.
She also called “remarkable and troubling” the Pentagon’s contention that the detainee’s request for a lawyer should be ignored until it decides what to do with him and when he should be given access to an attorney.
Same argument used with the SSP: You can’t prove your case unless you have access to this evidence, but without that evidence you can’t prove that you have standing to bring the suit. The man is an American citizen. Even if he is absolutely guilty of fighting for ISIS — and he probably is — he still gets all of the due process protections available to any other citizen accused of any other crime. There is no “Muslim terrorism” exception to the Bill of Rights. If he’s guilty, prove it in court.