The New York Times has published an editorial severely critical of secret detentions, military tribunals and the role of the courts in upholding the rule of law.
Text of New York Times editorial.
Justice Deformed: War and the Constitution
December 2, 2001
The inconvenient thing about the American system of justice is that we are usually challenged to protect it at the most inopportune moments. Right now the country wants very much to be supportive of the war on terrorism, and is finding it hard to summon up much outrage over military tribunals, secret detentions or the possible mistreatment of immigrants from the Mideast. There is a strong temptation not to notice. That makes it even more important to speak up.
After the brutal attacks of Sept. 11, the Bush administration began building a parallel criminal justice system, decree by decree, largely removed from the ordinary oversight of Congress and the courts. In this shadow system, people can be rounded up by the government and held at undisclosed locations for indefinite periods of time. It is a system that allows the government to conduct warrantless wiretaps of conversations between prisoners and their lawyers, a system in which defendants can be tried and condemned to death by secret military tribunals run according to procedural rules that bear scant resemblance to normal military justice.