Secret Trials in America?

Administration's `Alien Terrorist Removal' Plan Puts U. S. in Company of Repressive Regimes

The Bush Administration has proposed legislation in Congress that would authorize secret proceedings for the deportation of foreign nationals accused of terrorism. If enacted, this proposal would depart from two centuries of history and law in the U.S. -- Justice Black observed in the opinion cited above that "we have been unable to find a single instance of a criminal trial conducted in camera in any federal, state or municipal court during the history of this country" -- and place the United States in bad international company, along with repressive regimes from China to Syria. In fact, in seeking this radical change in U.S. law, the Administration proposes to adopt practices it has sharply criticized in other countries.