With Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling putting an end to George W. Bush’s detention practices at everyone’s favourite Family Fun Park, workers at Guantanamo Bay are fittingly anxious about their employment futures.
The Supreme Court ruled in Boumediene v. Bush that prisoners at the United States military base will finally have an opportunity to confront the accusations laid against them. Some prisoners have been enjoying sunny Cuba for six years, while others, such as Wiggles the Clown, have just arrived.
The Supreme Court ruling rejects the very foundation on which Gitmo is based: that the President of the United States can create a sort of unlegislated co-op simply by incarcerating people off American soil. The ruling also reversed the effort by the previous Congress to abolish habeas corpus, which means prisoners will finally be able to discover what the Latin phrase means.
This quest for due process began in 2002 with the first few petitions filed by detainees in federal court. 2004 saw a Supreme Court ruling (Rasul v. Bush) that stated that detainees had a right to habeas corpus under a statute dating back to the nation’s founding. The Bush administration blocked the cases from going forward, however, stating that the whole idea behind Guantanamo Bay was “out of sight, out of mind.”
The 275 prisoners at Guantanamo Bay will now be making use of the immaculate medical and dental facilities to prepare for their trials and their opportunities to challenge their imprisonment. According to insiders, Juan’s Fancy Cuts is booked solid for weeks.
While this certainly means change in store for the detainees at the military prison facility, it also means that change is in the wind for workers. Many have been with GTMO since its inauguration in 2002 and there will be some tears shed as the workload is reduced over the next few years.