Barack Obama: The War and Torture President
The Administration consistently insists that these detainees pose a threat to the safety of Americans. Vice President Cheney said that the other day. If that is true, there must be credible evidence to support it. If there is such evidence, then they should prosecute these people.
Leahy also insisted that the Constitution assigns the power to regulate detentions to Congress, not the President, and thus cited Bush's refusal to seek Congressional authorization for these detentions as a prime example of Bush's abuse of executive power and shredding of the Constitution.
But all year along, Barack Obama -- even as he called for the closing of Guantanamo -- has been strongly implying that he will retain George Bush's due-process-free system by continuing to imprison detainees without charges of any kind. In his May "civil liberties" speech cynically delivered at the National Archives in front of the U.S. Constitution, Obama announced that he would seek from Congress a law authorizing and governing the President's power to imprison detainees indefinitely and without charges. But in September, the administration announced hechanged his mind: rather than seek a law authorizing these detentions, he would instead simply claim that Congress already "implicitly" authorized these powers when it enacted the 2001 AUMF against Al Qaeda -- thereby,as The New York Times put it, "adopting one of the arguments advanced by the Bush administration in years of debates about detention policies." Read more.
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