Habeas corpus is a Latin word which means literally that you have the body. The writ of habeas corpus basically requires the authorities to charge a prisoner with a crime or release him/her. The Six Amendment of the Bill of Rights asserts that habeas corpus is a right of every US citizen. It keeps government from jailing people without just cause.
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According to Freedman, the constitution allows the president to suspend the writ of habeas corpus in times of national emergency. Claiming that power, President George W. Bush declared that he has the right to detain individuals suspected of being terrorists until the end of war on terror. But the war on terror is not being fought against a specific enemy nation. In this way, the war on terror is more like the US government`s war on drugs than an actual military war. There is no real way to judge when the war will be over. By this logic, detainees can be held for years or decades- or forever. This raises a very basic question with regard to detainees: Do they have right to habeas corpus and the right to challenge their detention?
Federman asserts that President Bush claimed that keeping terrorists and their supporters out of circulation justifies a drastic action like suspending habeas corpus. However, some concerned with the safety of American public have raised an important question: How can we know if we have actually we have captured terrorists unless we bring them to trail? In court, the evidence against the defendants can be evaluated to see if they really are terrorists. Looking at evidence gives the innocent the chance to defend themselves and also allows mistakes to be discovered. Trying all of the detainees may help us find out who and where the real terrorists are.
The labeling of protesters as terrorists has happened before. Back in 1789, the government of the US passed the Alien and Sedition Acts. These were four laws designed to prevent citizens of foreign countries from committing acts that could harm the US government. The Alien and Sedition Act gave the government the power to arrest and deport foreigners who protests against human right violations.
In conclusion, civil liberties, habeas corpus, and the war on terror are significant topics in the US history. This is because of how they affected lives of Americans and foreigners living in America. Thus, we should amend all laws regarding these topics to ensure that they respect human dignity.