Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Bush Lite

So much for that hopey-changey stuff. President Obama once again has broken a key campaign promise, this one having to do with the Guantanamo Bay gulag.

President Obama signed an executive order Monday that will create a formal system of indefinite detention for those held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who continue to pose a significant threat to national security. The administration also said it will start new military commission trials for detainees there.

Of the nearly 150 men still being held at the prison camp Obama the candidate swore to close down, roughly a third can't be tried, even in the dog and pony show trials by military commissions. The evidence is too tainted, usually obtained under highly illegal means and frequently totally unreliable. But, the White House has apparently decided, they must be guilty of something or they wouldn't be in captivity. Great legal reasoning from a man who taught Constitutional Law.

The administration argues that it has the legal authority to continue to hold all of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay under the laws of war. Federal courts have backed that assertion, although they have found that some detainees should be released for a lack of evidence against them. The detainees will continue to have the right to petition the federal courts under the doctrine of habeas corpus.

It has hard to imagine that this Supreme Court will challenge the government on the issue, so these men will continue to rot away in Cuba.

"Land of the Free ... Home of the Brave."


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