Saturday, May 02, 2009

Changing His Mind

During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama decried the use of military commissions to try the Guantanamo Bay detainees because the system denied the defendants basic legal rights by allowing the inclusion of evidence obtained by torture and the inclusion of hearsay which would deprive the defendants the right of cross-examination of the sources of the evidence. Such evidence would be excluded in Federal Courts.

Then, shortly after becoming president, Mr. Obama requested and received a suspension of military commission trials, thereby leading most of us to believe that the system was dead. Apparently we were quite wrong in that assumption, according to the NY Times. The suspension period is about to end and hints from top members of the administration, including Attorney General Eric Holder, suggest that President Obama may very well keep the system after tweaking it a bit.

Why the "change"? Well, some of the detainees are charged with helping to plan the 9/11 attacks, and apparently this administration wants to nail them as badly as the last administration, due process and the rule of law be damned.

Officials who work on the Guantánamo issue say administration lawyers have become concerned that they would face significant obstacles to trying some terrorism suspects in federal courts. Judges might make it difficult to prosecute detainees who were subjected to brutal treatment or for prosecutors to use hearsay evidence gathered by intelligence agencies. ...

Any plan to adjust the military commissions would walk a tightrope of granting the suspects more rights yet stopping short of affording them the rights available to defendants in American courts. Several lawyers say the commissions are only beneficial for the government if they make it easier to win a prosecution than it would be in federal court.
[Emphasis added]

So, I guess we'll be seeing a little cosmetic rejiggering of this blatantly unconstitutional system and the re-introduction of a new and improved version of jack-bootery. Winning, after all, is more important than a couple of hundred years of protecting people from the overstepping of their own government.

That's not exactly the kind of change I voted for.

Labels: , , ,


Blogger Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

We could do what the MI folks usta do to alleged or suspected VC in Nam (and what the Argentine and Chilean generals did, later, with their troublesome dissidents):
Take 'em up in helicopters over deep water and push 'em out.

You're right: Prob 'ly not be legal or humane: but this the USofA we're talking about here, and when has the USofA ever given a fuck that what it did was either legal or humane? We got a war to win here...

8:23 AM  
Anonymous larry, dfh said...

It wouldn't be so bad if those incidences of 'changing his mind' had been statistically anything but always to the right of his rhetoric. Say closing Guantanamo sooner rather than never, or favoring a single-payer health insurance system, rather than window dressing. The unyielding bent of his changes toward the authoritarian right leads me to believe that he was never sincere in the first place; rhetoric for the unwashed masses. And holder's turning out to be a real P.o.S. as far as I'm concerned. If we're going to have ed meese, I wish he'd talk like ed meese.

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The unyielding bent of his changes toward the authoritarian right leads me to believe that he was never sincere in the first place; rhetoric for the unwashed masses."

The only thing about what he says/does that surprises me, is that anyone is surprised. It was obvious from the get-go that he's no liberal, and barely a Democrat. DINO is the phrase I think.

4:03 PM  
Blogger Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

You could learn everything you ever needed to know about Barack Obama by following his shenanigans on the Bankruptcy Bill of 2005.

He was on the Senate committee drafting amendments prior to sending it to the floor. Obama voted in committee to oppose amending the bill to soften certain measures that David Sirota, reporting on it at the time, called "the most draconian." Then, when the bill was certain to pass, he cast his floor vote against it.

Like I say: all you need to know...

If the bankruptcy situation today is dire, it is because Barack Obama chose to jam the stinky stick up American citizens' assses...

6:04 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home