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Read the legislation --Amdt. 1133 (money), Amdt. 1136 (procedure), Amdt.1140 (states' rights) -- all passed 20 May. Then read Mr Obama's speech. I read it and linked ET to it. He and the senate patently agree on how to "shut down" Guantanamo -- in fact the "educator-in-chief" dedicated most of his address to explaining verrrrry sloooowly how "he" intends to sort the inmates categorically in order to empty the prison. That's not "push back". That was Amdt. 1136. There is no conflict. Because he damn well knows EO 13491, EO 13492, and EO 13495 were little more than proclamations --which, incidentally, don't call for dismantling US real estate in Cuba or abandoning the naval base-- of the 2009 legislative calendar.

Why waste your time trying to interpret the adolescent gibberish of 495 PR media buyers? Mr Obama is no opposition candidate. For godssakes.

I supported the use of military commissions to try detainees, provided there were several reforms, and in fact there were some bipartisan efforts to achieve those reforms. Those are the reforms that we are now 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. We will no longer permit the use of evidence -- 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 members of both parties, as well as legal authorities across the political spectrum, on legislation to ensure that these commissions are fair, legitimate, and effective.

I don't know what "close Gitmo" means to you, but I look to process that restores habeus corpus and numerous other articles of the US Bill of Rights: there is no reasonable alternative to the procedure described by the senate which differentiates inmates and in its neurotic fashion simulates a due process prescribed by Supreme Court rulings yet also consistent with MCA which none of these assholes will touch. The part of their "solution" to the problem of uncontested presidential power suspending habeus indefinitely is desirable to the extent the congress and executive demonstrably conform to constitutional writ.

The other part of the problem is not partisan politics. It is consensus --majority votes-- in both chambers of Congress and in the White House that inmates need not be tried, and they need not be maintained if convicted in the USA.

There is a host of abominable Bush law demanding repeal. I'd settle for an EO prohibiting MCA prosecution of foreign nationals for the simple reason none, NONE, are enemy combatants. I'd like to see Mr Obama drop the façade of "national security" interests in order to justify these prisoners.

But that's not how low-info liberals will "shut down" Guantanamo prison. Because truthfully Mr Obama doesn't want that to happen (he's planning to draft law to adapt to the new reality of "war with al-Qaida and its affiliates"!).

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri May 22nd, 2009 at 08:59:25 PM EST
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I actually take "shut down Gitmo" to mean exactly that, close the Guantanamo Bay prison.  Believing it means anything else is fanciful and wishful thinking.

As for denial of HC, etc, the question isn't what to do going forward so much as what to do with people who've already been denied these rights.  It's a matter of sorting out an existing problem in a way that minimizes the total damage.

I'm quite familiar with the legal underpinnings of all of this.  I'm also familiar with the reality that is warfare, POW's and human history.  Such abuses have occurred time and again throughout our history and it's terribly naive to pretend this is the first or last time it has happened.  

Also consider that Obama has stated himself that just because something is legal does not mean we should do it.  This is the foundation of his policy going forward.  What the law allows, for the time being, need not reflect our behavior.  Your tone will be more appropriate should new "detainees" be imprisoned without these rights.  Should Obama add to the problem it becomes his.  My view is that he's searching for a way to restore the rule of law whilst trying to adapt the law for the moment to accept what has occurred.  As we've see in other areas I think he expects these efforts to fail under judicial scrutiny, in fact I think that is EXACTLY what he's trying to do.  Buy some time and set the legal foundation needed to prevent this in the future.

I'll ask again - what do you suppose we do that is better?  I agree that the vast majority of the Gitmo detainees are at least relatively harmless.  It's foolish to suggest ALL of them are.  These arguments primarily concern those who are actually dangerous.  The rest will be released, through some means or other.  Ultimately even these dangerous detainees will be dealt with - the question that is still being answered is how that will occur.  Let's give it a moment and see what our govt. can come up with.

Finally, of course Obama is not an "opposition candidate," he's the President of the United States. This is not a campaign, this is governing.

by paving on Fri May 22nd, 2009 at 09:12:43 PM EST
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I'll ask again - what do you suppose we do that is better?

I have answered, there is nothing "better" --absent repeal of various "abominable" laws which furnish Guantanamo prison with lawful deadbeats-- than the procedure prescribed by the senate to simulate a due process. Also that Mr Obama agrees. Such adjudication has been previously denied remaining Guantananmo inmates. The exceptions among them being MCA convictions of two or is it fourteen? 20th 9/11 hijackers.

I agree that the vast majority of the Gitmo detainees are at least relatively harmless.

I have not stated anywhere "the vast majority of the Gitmo detainees are at least relatively harmless." So you must be agreeing with some other commenter. I do know, I cannot presume who is charged with what crime if at all, who is guilty, who is harmless, who harbors  intelligence of consumable vintage, who is maimed or even who is dead as a result of maltreatment or voluntary lassitude while imprisoned at Guantanamo. These facts are undiscoverable, being classified matters of "national security interest."

Finally, of course Obama is not an "opposition candidate," he's the President of the United States. This is not a campaign, this is governing.

Pardon me. I did not apprehend your earlier statement correctly.

The Senate has been trying to buck the "close Gitmo" line and Obama is having to push back.


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri May 22nd, 2009 at 10:25:15 PM EST
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Ultimately though, if there were some white-trash skinheads in a North Dakota jail who had been tortured in any way close to what these people have lived throgh in Gitmo, regardless of what they had done or admitted to, whatever large cache of weapons or designs to commit further atrocities, they would be out on the streets yesterday.

Justice is blind. Truth cannot be a little bit pregnant.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Sat May 23rd, 2009 at 03:55:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
paving:
 Your tone will be more appropriate should new "detainees" be imprisoned without these rights.  Should Obama add to the problem it becomes his.

Well...

We wouldn't want to inflame anti-American sentiment - Glenn Greenwald - Salon.com

In a two-sentence filing late Friday, the Justice Department said that the new administration had reviewed its position in a case brought by prisoners at the United States Air Force base at Bagram, just north of the Afghan capital. The Obama team determined that the Bush policy was correct: such prisoners cannot sue for their release.
by generic on Sat May 23rd, 2009 at 08:01:15 AM EST
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