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We've moved to Chile?

lizpolaris's picture

Obama Is Said to Consider Preventive Detention Plan

The things you can find out in the morning news. Who will be on the enemies list to be preventively detained? Will the secret police be sent out in darkness of night to round people up and disappear them? Our government wants to move to Chile circa 1970 and take us with it. It might get a little warm down here.

He was almost ruminating over the need for statutory change to the laws so that we can deal with individuals who we can’t charge and detain,” one participant said. “We’ve known this is on the horizon for many years, but we were able to hold it off with George Bush.

This is a change - but not what I think Democrats had in mind. Even Karl Rove notes that Brand Obama is not Barack Obama. Although he's mostly pleased about Obama's change of stance - less so on domestic spending, more so on security.

Mr. Obama either had very little grasp of what governing would involve or, if he did, he used words meant to mislead the public. Neither option is particularly encouraging.

Can anyone still think Obama is doing some sort of elaborate manipulation instead of the total policy reversals that have occured?
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DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

super creepy.

Julene's picture
Submitted by Julene on

we can't believe in. who knew there was a typo the entire campaign?

Honestly, can't we just drop this whole "democracy" charade and declare ourselves a dictatorship? I don't think many people would mind.

Submitted by gob on

f---wait a sec, somebody's at the door I'll be right b

Submitted by jawbone on

He will hold some without trial for long periods, but there will periodic reviews of their status. The ones that must be held are deemed dangerous. Also said Al Q is "at war with the US."

Seemed to me there were different rationales, different wording, but in so many ways he came down just where BushCo was. However, he did say he would listen to the court's decisions. Bush used preventive war; Obama will use preventive detention. He will know what people will do bad things--damn, he's a precog!

Earlier David Gregory told the Brian Lehrer Show that Obama is a "rigid pragmatist," that he has a strong need to come down in the middle -- seems to me to be a perceived middle and what Obama determines to be the middle. He ends up where he wanted to be anyway. Just cost off some parts of the "two sides," as in ignorning single payer. No wonder he's so ticked when people bring it up to me; it's not supposed to be in the equation.

Gregory also said Obama's campaign rhetoric was things he believed, but just didn't know how difficult it is to govern. Sort of like what Rove said -- must be in the rarefied air the elites breathe.

Oh, btw, Obama justifies military commissions bcz Washington used them during the Revolutionary War. OK. But, dude, we had no Constitution at that time, right??? What kind of precedent is that?

Submitted by jawbone on

The second category of cases involves detainees who violate the laws of war and are best tried through Military Commissions. Military commissions have a history in the United States dating back to George Washington and the Revolutionary War. They are an appropriate venue for trying detainees for violations of the laws of war. They allow for the protection of sensitive sources and methods of intelligence-gathering; for the safety and security of participants; and for the presentation of evidence gathered from the battlefield that cannot be effectively presented in federal Courts.

Now, some have suggested that this represents a reversal on my part. They are wrong. In 2006, I did strongly oppose legislation proposed by the Bush Administration and passed by the Congress because it failed to establish a legitimate legal framework, with the kind of meaningful due process and rights for the accused that could stand up on appeal. I did, however, support the use of military commissions to try detainees, provided there were several reforms. And those are the reforms that we are making.

Instead of using the flawed Commissions of the last seven years, my Administration is bringing our Commissions in line with the rule of law. The rule will no longer permit us to use as evidence statements that have been obtained using cruel, inhuman, or degrading interrogation methods. We will no longer place the burden to prove that hearsay is unreliable on the opponent of the hearsay. And we will give detainees greater latitude in selecting their own counsel, and more protections if they refuse to testify. These reforms - among others - will make our Military Commissions a more credible and effective means of administering justice, and I will work with Congress and legal authorities across the political spectrum on legislation to ensure that these Commissions are fair, legitimate, and effective.

Well, OK, then. He's doing it his way, not Bush's way, so it's all good?

Wrapping himself in words praising the Constituion, Bill of Rights, Rule of Law, Obama can do what he sees fit to do.

Full transcript.

Submitted by jawbone on

Finally, there remains the question of detainees at Guantanamo who cannot be prosecuted yet who pose a clear danger to the American people.

I want to be honest: this is the toughest issue we will face. We are going to exhaust every avenue that we have to prosecute those at Guantanamo who pose a danger to our country. But even when this process is complete, there may be a number of people who cannot be prosecuted for past crimes, but who nonetheless pose a threat to the security of the United States. Examples of that threat include people who have received extensive explosives training at al Qaeda training camps, commanded Taliban troops in battle, expressed their allegiance to Osama bin Laden, or otherwise made it clear that they want to kill Americans. These are people who, in effect, remain at war with the United States.

As I said, I am not going to release individuals who endanger the American people. Al Qaeda terrorists and their affiliates are at war with the United States, and those that we capture - like other prisoners of war - must be prevented from attacking us again. However, we must recognize that these detention policies cannot be unbounded. That is why my Administration has begun to reshape these standards to ensure they are in line with the rule of law. We must have clear, defensible and lawful standards for those who fall in this category. We must have fair procedures so that we don't make mistakes. We must have a thorough process of periodic review, so that any prolonged detention is carefully evaluated and justified.

Jawbone here: I believe habeas corpus is in the Constitution. How does he squeare this circle?

I know that creating such a system poses unique challenges. Other countries have grappled with this question, and so must we. But I want to be very clear that our goal is to construct a legitimate legal framework for Guantanamo detainees - not to avoid one. In our constitutional system, prolonged detention should not be the decision of any one man. If and when we determine that the United States must hold individuals to keep them from carrying out an act of war, we will do so within a system that involves judicial and congressional oversight. And so going forward, my Administration will work with Congress to develop an appropriate legal regime so that our efforts are consistent with our values and our Constitution.

As our efforts to close Guantanamo move forward, I know that the politics in Congress will be difficult. These issues are fodder for 30-second commercials and direct mail pieces that are designed to frighten. I get it. But if we continue to make decisions from within a climate of fear, we will make more mistakes. And if we refuse to deal with these issues today, then I guarantee you that they will be an albatross around our efforts to combat terrorism in the future. I have confidence that the American people are more interested in doing what is right to protect this country than in political posturing. I am not the only person in this city who swore an oath to uphold the Constitution - so did each and every member of Congress. Together we have a responsibility to enlist our values in the effort to secure our people, and to leave behind the legacy that makes it easier for future Presidents to keep this country safe.

Does this mean that having concerns about constitutionality is "political posturing"?

I get chills reading those last bolded words, but maybe it's just chilly here under the bus.

Full transcript.

lizpolaris's picture
Submitted by lizpolaris on

of those we already have in custody. And I completely agree with you that indefinite, prolonged detention without trial means we no longer have habeus corpus. Once we throw out the Magna Carta, we reenter the Dark Ages, which is exactly where I believe we are. Call these the Information Dark Ages or something. The Voluntary Dark Ages? "Give us a King!" cry the frightened masses?

What scares me about the reports of the private conversation Obama had with the rights groups is that it seemed to go further than that into the area of picking up new people who stand accused but haven't done anything yet. That to me would be preventive detention.

I'm open to hearing other interpretations.

zuzu's picture
Submitted by zuzu on

Mind you, that raises the question of why, exactly, these people can't be prosecuted if we have such solid evidence of their receiving training, swearing allegiance, etc.

Could it be because all of those confessions were gotten via torture and thus a court of law or a court martial would throw them all out?