Wednesday, December 22, 2010
The Obama administration has prepared an executive order laying the groundwork for the indefinite detention of certain detainees at Gitmo. The lefties are not amused. Most of us here hawks, though, knew all along that the Bush administration was not taking all that flack for nothing, and that there is no practical alternative in dealing with unlawful combatants in a stateless war. The smart people on both sides including, I think, the Obama campaign, knew this was going to happen, but only the Republicans were honest about it. The sophisticated media also knew, of course, but was never going to admit it.
Are you being that nice as a nod to the Winter Solstice...which, as we all know is the main reason why we are all celebrating the season.
Although I must admit, I didn't see any Winter Solstice parades going on anywhere...
I digress. Obama has taken his "move to the center" hit and is in for a penny, in for a pound. He knows he HAS to take on the mantle of a centrist at least until 2012.
This is just a relatively harmless way to do it. The only people he offends are the fringe left, who pale statistically in comparison to the indepedent voting block.
I am not sure who you are including in "sophisticated media", but I would bet that the people running the New York Times, CBS, and similar news organizations did not see this coming. (Not sure about the Washington Post, which has been more in touch with reality on these issues than the Times.)
Anon Attorney here.
Indefinite detention in the U.S. civil justice system is wholly incompatible with the explicit text of the U.S. Constitution. (Potentially indefinite detention in a military facility as a prisoner of war or military detainee is wholly consistent with the U.S. Constitution.) This is the scariest thing I have seen in my adult life. No serious conservative can support this.
Always and forever, totalitarianism arrives from the political left, typically under the guise of a wealth redistribution scheme. I've said since the campaign in 2008 that Obama is a fascist whose view of the state is modeled after the views of Mussolini.
Orwell is spinning in his grave.
I second Anon Attorney's points.
For over two years I've been calling Obama "Peron without the gold braid." There was a lot of Mussolini in Peron.
The looming political fault line is more about "Big State / Small State" than traditional Left / Right. Will the Borg get bigger or not? Developing ...
Just before he died comedian George Carlin said that he never expected to see politically correct censorship coming from the left. Back in the 1960s Carlin fought it from the right, and even lost a case in the Supreme Court.
Now back to the lede.
If you bring a Gitmo prisoner onto US soil he gets the same rights at trial as you and I would have. The Constitution purposefully uses "person" in this context, not "citizen." We've already twisted too many words in that inconvenient document.
Obama should know this. Which suggests that he's ignorant or has been playing a deeper game. Once again I suspect the latter.
"Indefinite detention in the U.S. civil justice system is wholly incompatible with the explicit text of the U.S. Constitution. (Potentially indefinite detention in a military facility as a prisoner of war or military detainee is wholly consistent with the U.S. Constitution.)"
Good thing they're being held by the military on Cuban soil after being seized whilst making war on the United States then, isn't it?
Also, the writ of habeus corpus can be suspended. Just a reminder.
"This is the scariest thing I have seen in my adult life."
You *were* alive and not comatose from 2001-2008, right?
"No serious conservative can support this."
I find this sort of blanket decree about the purity of ideology entertaining, considering the breathless pronouncements about fascism that follow it.
@Ignoramus: "If you bring a Gitmo prisoner onto US soil he gets the same rights at trial as you and I would have."
This is an invention. For one thing, their status is determined by military tribunal, not the regular judiciary (though they can challenge the validity of their detention). Even *US citizens* do not get Bill of Rights protections if they are involved in war against the state. Read up on the Civil War. And how would you square this grandiose pronouncement with the constitutionality of the internment of Japanese-Americans in WWII? Or even internment of captured and surrendered personnel during wartime? Even they didn't get such protections, and they were higher on the totem pole of protected persons (i.e. actual prisoners of war) than al-Qaeda is.
"The Constitution purposefully uses "person" in this context, not "citizen." We've already twisted too many words in that inconvenient document."
What context? You've cited no clause or provision.
The law provides for the execution of unlawful combatants. See "Treatment of Spies" in the UCMJ. The idea that it is preposterous to think they can be held indefinitely doesn't pass muster.
Was Timothy McVeigh at war with the USA? He certainly thought so.
DF82 and are others have twisted the meaning of "war" out of all meaning, and then argue from there.
The "War Against Global Terror" is far closer to our "War Against Drugs" than to WWII or our Civil War.
The NYPD just conducted a big anti-terror simulation exercise. They assumed a copy cat of the Mumbai attack during a Presidential visit -- multiple dispersed shooters, hostage taking, etc. -- with added twists. That's the ticket. Most of what we're doing at the federal level is a waste of time, money and lives.
The Japanese internment was thought necessary
Ignoramus brings up what I think is the crux of disagreement on Gitmo: Are they criminals or Enemy Prisoners of War (EPWs)?
I say EPWs, so their detention until the end of hostilities is not only legal and moral, but necessary as long as they pose any threat. (Granted, they are actually illegal combatants, so we aren't obligated by the Geneva Convention to give them the same treatment as legal EPWs.)
But that's just my opinion. I wonder what the legal answer is?
Do not forget the 8 German saboteurs (including US citizens)dropped off by U-Boat in the spring (or summer) of 1942. First captured, tried by secret military tribunal, appeal to Supremes denied, and then some but not all executed. Those not executed held for longer than war lasted.
Of course, Lincoln did much more to thousands in Maryland in 1861/62 who threatened to take MD out of the Union. I believe about three thousand civilians were held for up to 6 months, without trial or habaeus corpus.