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Published: Sunday, January 18, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 17, 2004 at 11:18 p.m.

Chain of command

President Bush has taken a lot of criticism from civil libertarians for his position that 660 detainees at the Guantanamo Naval Base in Cuba will be tried by military tribunals and are entitled to neither international prisoner of war protections or review by American civilian courts. Now, in an extraordinary instance of insurrection in the ranks, five military officers - lawyers who have been assigned to defend detainees - have challenged their Commander in Chief, arguing that Bush's treatment of the detainees amounts to a "legal black hole," and is unconstitutional.

"Under this monarchical regime those who fall into the black hole may not contest the jurisdiction, competency or even the constitutionality of the military tribunals," the military lawyers said in a recent brief to the U.S. Supreme Court. Hopefully, the court will take notice of this breach in the chain of command and rein in this runaway President.

Attack mode

POINT: "It's what they do. Politics is a lot about attacks," retired Gen. Wesley Clark, shrugging off recent attacks against him by rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination as his standing in polls rises.

COUNTERPOINT: "I was beginning to hope someone would attack me," Sen. Joe Lieberman, who is not competing in the Iowa caucuses, and lags in New Hampshire polling.

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