One of the largest reasons I joined the Dodd campaign and why I think Chris Dodd is the best candidate for the presidency is his leadership on restoring the Constitution and protecting the right of habeas corpus for all Americans. He fundamentally understands that our moral authority is tied into our ability to lead and our security.
Habeas corpus is an unfortunately isn't an issue that's talked about a lot in American politics. It is a right enshrined in the US Constitution to ensure that when the government detains a person, that person must be brought before a court and be tried or released. Habeas corpus is a hallmark of what protects our republic from the creep of tyranny. The right of habeas corpus was gutted by the Military Commissions Act of 2006, a law whose bland name belies its pernicious character. A New York Times editorial in September, 2006 documented the extent of the MCA's reach beyond habeas and into our relationship with the Geneva Convention, how we treat enemy combatants, how our courts weigh secret and coerced evidence, how the MCA limits review by our independent judiciary, and a definition of torture that is so narrow as to exclude rape from being included.
At some point, hopefully quite soon, the Iraq War will be over. Patriotic, courageous leaders will bind up our nation's wounds and we, as a nation, will move on as best we can. Hopefully we will be able to remember the mistakes that surrounded the Bush administration's policies before and during the Iraq War. But we will remain Americans and we will work together to restore our standing in the world.
But habeas corpus and the rights enshrined in our Constitution that depend on it to have meaning are a part of our national DNA. And unless it is restored soon, we risk fundamentally altering who we are as a people and what we stand for in the world.