Bush Administration Finally Yields to Demand for Lawyers for High-Value Detainees

The Bush Administration has finally yielded to international demands and offerred legal representation to high-value detainees. For the story, click here It represents the abandonment of one of the most hypocritical and controversial positions of the United States in its war on terror. While insisting that it has been defending the rule of law, President Bush insisted that he would decide how could speak with a lawyer depending on their value to the U.S. as opposed to their inherent rights for such representation. This is not the first reversal of such policies. The Bush Administration once insisted that the Geneva Conventions had not application to detainees in Cuba. After months of international outcry, it changed its position and claimed that the conventions apply but only to some of the detainees. It then changed its position again and afforded counsel to some of the remaining detainees but not “high-value” detainees: a distinction with no legal substance. They did the same reversal on representation for Jose Padilla, where they gave him access after litigating for many months on the claim that no such representation could be allowed. They yielded shortly before the Supreme Court was due to rule on these extreme legal theories.