COMMENTS: Gitmo Habeas or Teaser Freezer?

There were two other stories that warranted attention from reporters on all three newscasts. Each could have easily qualified as Story of the Day in the absence of gun violence. The first was the legal status of suspects detained as enemy combatants in the Global War on Terrorism at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba. The Supreme Court heard arguments over the legality of denying them an appeal against their captivity. ABC's Jan Crawford Greenburg (no link) pointed out that instead they get "a limited hearing, before military officers not judges; they do not have lawyers, or access to much evidence." CBS' Wyatt Andrews pointed out that both of the other branches of government have asserted that the courts have no jurisdiction: "So just by taking this case the Supreme Court is confronting, some would say defying, both President and Congress." And NBC's Pete Williams offered encouragement to the detainees: "The Bush Administration has lost here twice before on Guantanamo rights and after today's arguments appears likely to lose again."

The second was progress towards the financial plan floated last Friday (text link) to prevent wholesale foreclosure and eviction of homeowners. CNBC's real estate correspondent Diana Olick on NBC dubbed the scheme the Teaser Freezer since it would keep payments on adjustable subprime mortgages at the low starting rate, the so-called teaser, for five more years longer before resetting. CBS' Anthony Mason reckoned that the plan was so narrowly drawn that only about 12% of all subprime borrowers would qualify and Olick warned that intricate eligibility rules might produce "a bureaucratic nightmare." ABC's Betsy Stark worried that the effort may be insufficient "to avoid the kind of foreclosure crisis that economists"--including Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson--"have been worried will hurt the broader economy."


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