Evidence Gained By Torture Allowed
U.S. military panels reviewing the detention of foreigners as enemy combatants are allowed to use evidence gained by torture in deciding whether to keep them imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the government conceded in court yesterday.
The acknowledgment by Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General Brian Boyle came during a U.S. District Court hearing on lawsuits brought by some of the 550 foreigners imprisoned at the U.S. naval base in Cuba. The lawsuits challenge their detention without charges for as much as three years so far.
Attorneys for the prisoners argued that some were held solely on evidence gained by torture, which they said violated fundamental fairness and U.S. due process standards. But Boyle argued in a similar hearing Wednesday that the detainees "have no constitutional rights enforceable in this court."
U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon asked if a detention would be illegal if it were based solely on evidence gathered by torture, because "torture is illegal. We all know that."
Boyle replied that if the military's combatant status review tribunals "determine that evidence of questionable provenance were reliable, nothing in the due process clause [of the Constitution] prohibits them from relying on it."
Corzine Vows to Restore
Public's Faith in N.J.
Democratic Sen. Jon S. Corzine declared he is running for governor of New Jersey, pledging to restore the public's faith in a state battered by scandals over money and sex.
The former head of investment firm Goldman Sachs & Co., who spent $63 million of his personal fortune to win his first-term Senate seat from New Jersey in 2000, is considered an early favorite to fill the post of former Democratic governor James E. McGreevey, who left office after admitting to a gay adulterous affair.
"We need a governor whose first priority is to earn the trust of the people of this state," Corzine said as he announced his candidacy in Newark. "I believe there's been far too much abuse of power in the state. I believe we ought to change that culture."
McGreevey left office last month after admitting in August that he was gay and had cheated on his wife with a man he had hired to head the state's Homeland Security Department.
Corzine, 57, the first Democrat to announce his candidacy, said he will not take public funds and will use his own money on the campaign.
White House Urges Nobel Winner's Release
The White House expressed concern over a reported decision by Burma's military rulers to extend the house arrest of opposition icon and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.
"We note with deep concern reports that the Burmese regime has extended her detention for an additional year," the White House said in a statement. "If true, this represents a return to a pattern of unacceptable backtracking on commitments the regime itself has made to move toward democracy and national reconciliation."
The statement called for Burma to free Suu Kyi "immediately and unconditionally."
Suu Kyi, 59, is the 1991 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. She has spent most of the past 15 years confined to her home in Rangoon, with no telephone and requiring official permission to have visitors.
-- From News Services