The New York Times had an interesting story yesterday that question’s Senator John McCain’s eligibility to even be a candidate for president. McCain was not born in this country. He was born on a military base in the Panama Canal zone to an American military father and mother. And there’s considerable legal grounding that military bases, like embassies, are American soil.
But that argument should also hold true for the military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Is it American soil or not? If so, the detainees should be entitled to all of the rights provided under the Constitution for those on American soil. With military tribunals set to begin, and some of these prisoners being held for as long as six years without being charged, why can’t we put these detainees into the U.S. Criminal Justice system? If the evidence against them is as overwhelming as our government says, getting convictions shouldn’t be a problem. The lead prosecutor in the tribunals recently resigned because of the people the government placed in charge of oversight for the tribunals, leading me to believe the Bush administration is far more interested in convictions and punishment than in justice.
At issue for John McCain: is Gitmo a military base? And if its not, then how are you eligible to run for president?