Are the rights outlined in our Constitution only for Americans? That is apparently what Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia believes.
Certainly, there are some rights and obligations that go along with citizenship, such as the right to vote and the obligation to pay taxes. But that is not what is at issue with the detainees at Guantanamo. Here we are talking about more basic rights, such as the right to a fair trial and adequate legal representation; the right not to be held indefinitely without charges; and so forth.
It would seem to me that when our forefathers were drafting the Constitution they had in mind certain inalieanable rights of mankind - all of whom were created equal, you might recall - and that these rights were not something Americans were just going to bestow upon themselves, but rather it was a philosphy of how one should view fellow men throughout the world.
This idea that the prisoners at Guantanamo have no rights because they are not Americans is to me a betrayal of the values that we as Americans take such pride in. For a comparable analogy, imagine a Christian who believes that the only people they have to show Christian love to are other Christians. Non-Christians they can treat like garbage and it is OK.
The way we have treated the prisoners at Guantanamo is a disgrace and a betrayal of our core American values. We are a less worthy nation in the eyes of the world today because of Gitmo and Abu Gharib.
I just hope the other members of our Supreme Court see things differently than Scalia.