Thanks Daniel & Summer for jumping into the fray. I think this will be fun. I also have to admit that my post was intended to inflame some good discussions. hehehe
OK, on to the matter at hand… I think Ashcroft is using the privacy of the detainees as an excuse to cover up what is really going on. Remember, we do not preserve the identity of accused murderers, rapists, or thieves who are in the criminal justice system, even though it is arguably damaging to their reputation. If Ashcroft is so concerned about the privacy rights of the detainees, then I wonder if he would be so inclined about the privacy rights of citizens who are accused of crimes.
The truth, IMHO, is that Ashcroft is B.S.ing the American people. He wants us to believe that we are respecting the rights of the detainees and others, but in actuality we are not. For instance, monitoring attorney-client conversations, and the right to a fair & open trial are protected by the US Bill of Rights, which applies to all PERSONS, not only to citizens…
Here are the relevant sections of the Bill of Rights (emphasis is mine)…
- 5th Amendment – No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
6th Amendment – 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, and 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, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
Please noite the words I put in bold type. These do not say “citizen” or “accused citizen,” but rather apply to any person who is being held by the American criminal justice system. (a point of uncertainty would be if these rights only exist on US soil, or if they apply everywhere that is under US jurisdiction of some kind)