The New York Times editorial page has really outdone itself this time. I’m afraid I can no longer hedge my account of the way it is treating the subject of the legality of detention. The Times editorial writers are knowingly and intentionally misstating the law in order to misinform their readers. I have come to this conclusion reluctantly, but I see no other way to understand their record on the subject.
I will not rehash here the Times’ record on this subject since October, when I began criticizing their editorials. For background, I refer readers to this post, and this one. The general point is that the Times repeatedly states, often in very strong terms, that detention without trial is unlawful. And it refuses, in doing so, to give a minimally correct account of the body of cases that say precisely the opposite. The latest editorial on detention, published yesterday, reads in relevant part as follows:
Much of the public and most politicians seem to feel that as long as these suspects are held out of sight on the island of Cuba, they can be held indefinitely without trial, in violation of basic constitutional protections and international treaties.