Monday, October 09, 2006


Lebanese scholar and political activist Chibli Mallat on the Princeton Project on National Security's recently released report, Forging a World of Liberty Under Law.
The current US administration is often impatient with law and justice, and a recent Congressional bill has not helped matters by effectively allowing the president to continue widening the net of "enemy combatants," and to deprive them of their basic constitutional right to a hearing before a normal court. I cannot understand why this is being done, and why the Bush administration continues to ignore that liberty under law that is a necessary foundation of a world order shaped by America. As Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson once observed about the US Constitution: International law is not a suicide pact. When embraced, it offers a formidable array of tools for redress. We have already seen how authoritarian countries in the Middle East have happily embraced the US drift to lawlessness, which justifies their own abuse of power and of human rights. One hopes that the Princeton report serves as a wake-up call when it comes to the most severe danger to the world: a US collapse into unchecked rule of force.

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