Letters to the Portland editor, June 20, 2008

Getting Michaud's record straight
By LETTERS TO THE PORTLAND EDITOR  |  June 18, 2008

Stand up for our rights
We would like to thank and congratulate Jeff Inglis for his vivid and thoughtful account of his night in the replica of a cell from Guantánamo that was placed in Portland’s Monument Square for three days earlier in June (see "A Night in Guantánamo," June 13). Our two organizations, Amnesty International and the American Civil Liberties Union, have been working hard to document how detainees have been treated at Guantánamo. The US Supreme Court has now reaffirmed, in the case of Boumediene v. Bush, the age-old, fundamental right of habeas corpus. In America, those detained should receive a fair and neutral hearing, learn the specific reason for their detention, and be able to challenge it in a court of law. Jeff Inglis’s reporting reminds us why all Americans need to stand up for our fundamental values and the rule of law, not only in times of peace and prosperity but also in times of war and crisis.

Shenna Bellows
Executive Director
Maine Civil Liberties Union
Portland

Joshua Rubenstein
Northeast Regional Director
Amnesty International USA
Somerville, Massachusetts

Getting Michaud's record straight
Jeff Inglis states in his article about the Amnesty International replica of a Guantanámo Bay prison cell (see "A Night in Guantánamo," June 13), “Democratic representative Mike Michaud voted for the Military Commissions Act of 2006.” It is true that he voted “yes” on the House version, believing at that time that the bill prevented torture and provided for a fair legal process, but after hearing from more legal experts and his constituents, he realized the bill did the exact opposite and he voted “no” on the final version.

We applaud Congressman Michaud for the courage and integrity to change his position when apprised of the facts and for supporting Amnesty International’s efforts to strengthen human rights.

Mary Ellen Crowley
Co-Coordinator
Amnesty International Midcoast, group 371
Waldoboro

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