Bending rules:

We are, sadly, accustomed to hearing President Bush’s lawyers justify this administration’s ceaseless efforts to undermine the Constitution and the rule of law: intrusions on privacy, warrantless wiretapping, indefinite detention, torture. It was bad enough when Attorney General Alberto Gonzales helped write and defend these policies; he always made clear his loyalties were to Bush, not the US.

But it was appalling to hear his successor, Michael Mukasey demanding that Congress further expand Bush’s power to detain foreigners without charges or reliable evidence, and further evade judicial oversight. Many prisoners in Guantánamo have been proved to be no threat, and were not detained under anything like battlefield conditions. More than 20 are now languishing there after being cleared for release, including Chinese Muslims known as Uighurs.

No one is arguing that terrorists should be set free. What the administration fears is that hearings for any prisoner will reveal how much abuse has been meted out and how thin and tainted the evidence is against most of the Guantánamo prisoners. It would be catastrophically irresponsible for Congress to rewrite the rules of justice according to Mukasey’s cynical template. There has been too much injustice already. — International Herald Tribune