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The United States has had a very rough history when it comes to fighting wars. But none of these compare to the fight against terrorism, in where there is no defined enemy, and innocent people are the target of assaults.

US Government has tried to establish a fair justice system for its lawbreakers throughout the years. I have uncertainties about the procedures that have been chosen to deal with terrorist suspects. Every national suspected of terrorism should have the right to be incarcerated with formal charges and given the right to an attorney. In The Bill of Rights, Amendment VI it states that “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, an to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him, to have compulsory process for obtaining Witnesses in his favor, an to have the assistance of counsel for his defense”.

During the Presidents Bush administration it was common practice to capture and transfer terrorist suspected to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. These actions are sending a message to the terrorist saying that they are achieving their goal of threatening our way of life. In which case the US Government has felt the necessity of passing new laws to protect the country, at the same time forgetting that it might be giving an opportunity for conjectures about the way it is being done. The use of the Combatant Status Review Tribunals which the suggested terrorists get an individual hearing without a lawyer, and are not allowed to have an attorney. Judge Green had reviewed petitions of more than 50 detainees, in which they could not see the evidence against them because it was considered classified, taking into consideration that the Combatant Status Review Tribunals did not meet the minimal standards of constitutional due process. She also stated that some of the evidence that was gathered was gathered by torturing the detainees until that confessed.

This tribunal process had been seen before in countries like Chile, Cuba, and Spain, which brought big social consequences to the detainees. During the ruling of Franco in Spain people would persuade the government that they knew someone that was not in favor of Franco’s ruling and because he had the power to change the laws at that time the people that would not support him would be send to prisons. There were also some cases where they were sentenced to death, and in many cases the innocent people that were incriminated and put do death were done so because you had people that wanted a “legal” way of getting rid of other people in the society. This same situation can be seen in Cuba, where Fidel Castro will eliminate anybody is not in favor of the revolution, or like Pinochet’s administration in Chile, who sent prisoners in airplanes and dropped them in the middle of the ocean. These are all examples of leaders that at one point in time or another have felt threaten by their own country men and thought that by changing the judicial system the problem would just go away. This is why I think that changing the judicial system is not a correction to an ever growing problem with terrorism. The fact that changing how are laws are executed and the way they are established could start sending innocent people to jail which is just unacceptable. This is not a solution to such a complex problem, but in fact a quick fix which in the long run will damage the US credibility.


Critique (by Rohan):
First off, a couple times you used the term "terrorist suspected", but it should either be "terrorist suspect" or "suspected terrorist". In addition, I'm sure that you used some resources, but you should just remember to cite them at the end and reference them paranthetically. Your intoductory paragraph was a bit confusing to me, because I was not sure what your position was, that is until reading further (maybe use a stronger word than uncertainty). The use of a quote was very good though, and if you use more from other resources it would be great. Since you took the position against imprisonment without due process, I would suggest that you elaborate on Guantanamo, because it has been a major source of the controversy. I would also try to tie it in with the quote from the first paragraph, because that would make the argument even stronger. The allusions to other examples from Cuba, Chile and Spain were good, but perhaps you could elaborate a bit more, it will help you reach the 1200 word mark, and make sure to relate it back to the US. It's all pretty good, but could use some elaboration, which in turn will help you reach the required length. The only other thing I would suggest is a seperate paragraph to wrap up all of your thoughts and tie them together to give the reader a clear and lasting point. So far, a good start, and I hope to read the final product.

FINAL DRAFT

The United States has had a very rough history when it comes to fighting wars. But none of these compare to the fight against terrorism, in where there is no defined enemy, and innocent people are the target of assaults.

US Government has tried to establish a fair justice system for its lawbreakers throughout the years. I have uncertainties about the procedures that have been chosen to deal with terrorist suspects. Every national suspected of terrorism should have the right to be incarcerated with formal charges and given the right to an attorney. In The Bill of Rights, Amendment VI it states that “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, an to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him, to have compulsory process for obtaining Witnesses in his favor, an to have the assistance of counsel for his defense”.

During the Presidents Bush administration it was common practice to capture and transfer suspected terrorist to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Guantanamo is a Naval Base that “serves as the cornerstone of U.S. military operations in the Caribbean Theater providing logistics support to both U.S. Navy and Coast Guard vessels and aircraft and to the assigned Joint Task Force. From our strategic location, we carry out this important mission as we demonstrate a strong U.S. presence within the country of Cuba.”(Naval Base – web), but after the 9/11 attack the Naval Base changed some of its purpose, to a prison for terrorists and suspected terrorists. These actions are sending a message to the terrorist saying that they are achieving their goal of threatening our way of life. In which case the US Government has felt the necessity of passing new laws to protect the country, at the same time forgetting that it might be giving an opportunity for conjectures about the way it is being done. The Government suggested the use of the Combatant Status Review Tribunals in which “detainees get individualized fair hearings. Under that procedure, detainees are allowed to contest their imprisonment but do not have a lawyer and are not entitled to see the evidence against them”. (Lewis, nytimes1). Judge Green had reviewed petitions of more than 50 detainees, in which they could not see the evidence against them because it was considered classified, taking into consideration that the Combatant Status Review Tribunals did not meet the minimal standards of constitutional due process. She also stated that some of the evidence that was gathered was gathered by torture.

This tribunal process had been seen before in countries like Chile, Cuba, and Spain, which brought big social consequences to the detainees. During the ruling of Franco in Spain people would persuade the government that they knew someone that was not in favor of Franco’s ruling and because he had the power to change the laws at that time the people that would not support him would be send to prisons. There were also some cases where they were sentenced to death, and in many cases the innocent people that were incriminated and put do death were done so because you had people that wanted a “legal” way of getting rid of other people in the society. This same situation can be seen in Cuba, where Fidel Castro will eliminate anybody is not in favor of the revolution, or like Pinochet’s administration in Chile, who sent prisoners in airplanes and dropped them in the middle of the ocean. These are all examples of leaders that at one point in time or another have felt threaten by their own country men and thought that by changing the judicial system the problem would just go away. As you can see all of this crimes committed by nations leaders are considered legal, because they changed how laws were carried out after they got to the power. This is why I think that changing the judicial system is not a correction to an ever growing problem with terrorism. The fact that changing how laws are executed and the way they are established could mean a disaster in our society, were we are faced with a great problem and to start sending innocent people to jail is just unacceptable. No matter if the suspects are from other countries, we as the nation that promotes equality and liberty through out the world could not consider quick solutions to such a complex problem, but in fact that that quick fix in the long run will damage the US credibility.

As Americans, should we impose our power and punish suspected terrorists with out the proper trail? Or should we do things the way this country was founded under? The answer for these questions is some what conflicting because the nature of human beings is to defend themselves when facing a dangerous situation. But in our society we must think before we act or we could come across some awful outcomes to our problems, this is why we must come to the right answer to the problems that we encounter everyday. Quick solutions to the problem of terrorism, like the one the Bush administration proposed, is not proper; and even if we do not like the results of our system we must think that is in the long run a good decision, and that the trustworthiness of our nations way of making and applying laws might be at risk. This is why we should give the opportunity to suspected terrorists of a fair trial and the ability for them to have an attorney like The Bill of Rights establishes. ''Although this nation unquestionably must take strong action under the leadership of the commander in chief to protect itself against enormous and unprecedented threats, that necessity cannot negate the existence of the most basic fundamental rights for which the people of this country have fought and died for well over 200 years.''(LEWIS, nytimes2)

Web: U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba [web page]; http://www.nsgtmo.navy.mil/ [Accessed 15 April 2005]

1Article: The New York Times:Disagreement Over Detainees' Legal Rights Simmers/By NEIL A. LEWIS; http://chiron.gsu.edu/cgi bin/homepage.cgi?link=zxau&password=climate&style=&_id=181e3076-1171680594-9269 [Accessed 27 February 2005]

2Article: The New York Times: Judge Extends Legal Rights For Guantanamo Detainees/By NEIL A. LEWIS; http://www.nytimes.com [Accessed 27 February 2005]

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