OBAMA ASSUMES THE RIGHTS OF A DICTATOR
The claim by both Bush and Obama that they can exercise unconstitutional powers because we are in a war is supported neither by the document itself nor by reality, inasmuch as Congress has yet to declare war on anyone we are currently fighting. Further, all the unconstitutional measures used or proposed - from torture to preventive detention - have gained prominence without a single significant effort on the part of the United States to lessen the chances that someone in the countries concerned might wish to harm us. We have not only jettisoned the Constitution but common sense as well.
Andy Worthington, Counterpunch - Frankly, to even entertain the prospect that a third category of justice (beyond guilt and innocence) can be conjured out of thin air without fatally undermining the principles on which the
Look at the sentence, "Hold[ing] individuals to keep them from carrying out an act of war," replace "an act of war" with "a crime, any crime," and you will, I hope, realize why the proposed policy is so terrifying and so thoroughly unacceptable. If a President came to power promising to "hold individuals to keep them from committing a crime, any crime," I'd be very worried indeed. . .
I'm almost speechless with despair about [the proposal], and would urge anyone who believes in the fundamental right of human beings, in countries that purport to wear the cloak of civilization with pride, to live as free men and women unless arrested, charged, tried and convicted of a crime, to resist the notion that a form of "preventive detention" is anything other than the most fundamental betrayal of our core values.
Andy Worthington is a British historian, and the author of 'The Guantanamo Files
Clip of Obama Speech: That's why my administration has begun to reshape the standards that apply to ensure that they are in line with the rule of law. We must have clear, defensible, and lawful standards for those who fall into this category. . . We must have a thorough process of periodic review, so that any prolonged detention is carefully evaluated and justified. . . . our goal is to construct a legitimate legal framework for the remaining
Rachel Maddow: You'll construct a legal regime to make indefinite detention legal. . . Develop an appropriate legal regime so you can construct a whole new system outside the courts even outside the military commissions so you can indefinitely imprison people without charges. And you will build that system from scratch. What's that somebody said about ad hoc legal strategies?
Just for context here in the
How long would President Obama's proposed indefinite detention last? He's not saying yet, but here is how he's defining the threat he says makes indefinite detention necessary.
Clip of Obama's speech: Right now, in distant training camps and in crowded cities, there are people plotting to take American lives. That will be the case a year from now, five years from now, and -- in all probability -- 10 years from now.
Maddow: Ten years from now? So you could get arrested today and locked up without a trial without being convicted without being sentenced for say ten years until the threat of your future criminal behavior passes? Prolonged detention he's calling it.
This was a beautiful speech from President Obama today with patriotic even moving language about the rule of law and the constitution and one of the most radical proposals for defying the constitution we have ever heard made to the American people.