Don’t shut courtroom door (U.S.A.)

The US Supreme Courtsource: The Miami Herald
published: 30 September 2014

Not content to impose severe restrictions on reporting at the U.S. military prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, the Obama administration now wants to bring the secretive culture of its remote island prison to the mainland by closing a federal court hearing on forced-feeding in Washington, D.C. It should not be allowed to succeed.

The administration’s propensity for secrecy, its cavalier disregard for the public’s right to see, hear and know what its government is doing, has become a habit that only gets worse with time. This mentality is particularly evident at Guantánamo, where reporters are treated as an intrusive presence, tolerated but inconvenient.

It is only thanks to a series of rulings by the Supreme Court that the detainees themselves have won the fundamental right to contest their detention. And it is only through insistent scrutiny and persistent questioning of arbitrary rules that members of the news media have been allowed to do any meaningful work.

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