Town Hall Meeting

20 Apr 2009

Obama Continues Bush Policy: Deny Prisoners Habeas Corpus

Filed under: — Al @ 12:08 pm

Call me what you will, but I draw the line at habeas corpus. This can’t stand, it is so disappointing. Obama was a Professor of Constitutional Law too!

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/04/11/bagram/index.html

I recommend reading the whole thing, but here’s my summary…The story is about how Obama is continuing Bush’s policy of NOT providing Habeas Corpus to detainees in Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan. And these prisoners are not just from the battlefield there, they are flown to this base from all over the world because they can be sent there forever. The Supreme Court said in June 2008 that prisoners in Guantanamo have a right to have a hearing to determine their guilt and challenge their detention (habeas corpus), so Bush just started sending guys to Bagram instead. Obama then in February filed a brief in federal court stating that he embraced this plan. Then a conservative federal judge, in March 2009, rejected Obama’s petition and said the Supreme Court ruling from 2008 applies to Bagram in addition to Guantanamo because the prisoners were foreign citizens caught elsewhere and just brought to Bagram to be detained. At the time of the June 2008 ruling, it was the height of the Presidential campaign, and you may recall that was when candidate-McCain called it one of the worst ruling in the history of the Supreme Court (this was laughable, try Plessy v Ferguson!). At the same time, candidate-Obama did the right thing and said the decision was great, and that it shows we can try and convict alleged terrorists using our tried and true justice system.

The most sickening part to me is how by doing this, all the lives lost fighting to get the right of habeas corpus over the centuries for all citizens are now looking like they were wasted by these actions. I highly recommend reading the “update” at the bottom of Greenwald’s report too…we can’t start saying things like: “I’m sure Obama has a good reason for it” which is exactly what Bush’s fan’s were saying all along.

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