UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

May 21, 2009

OBAMA 'MULLING' USE OF DICTATOR'S TOOL

It it's good enough for Gitmo prisoners, it's also good enough for you. . .

According to the NY Times' Cheryl Gay Stolberg, Obama told human rights advocates at the White House on Wednesday that he was mulling the need for a "preventive detention" system that would establish a legal basis for the United States to incarcerate terrorism suspects who are deemed a threat to national security but cannot be tried, two participants in the private session said,"

Professor Diane Marie Amann, University of California - In word and tone, the President made clear that he will end "the mess at Guantanamo." At the center of that mess are detainees who cannot be prosecuted, many because U.S. agents coerced statements from them, but who are presumed too dangerous to release.

He signaled a plan by which they - and perhaps other detainees yet to be arrested? - could remain in custody forever without charge. There is no precedent in the American legal tradition for this kind of preventive detention. That is not quite right: precedents do exist, among them the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 and the Japanese internment of the 1940s, but they are widely seen as low points in America's history under the Constitution.

President Obama promised that his "new legal regime" - words identical to those Bush Administration official John Yoo used in 2002 –- will provide an array of "fair procedures." That ought to be a given, for the Constitution requires due process before liberty may be deprived. But no amount of procedures can justify deprivations that, because of their very nature violate the Constitution's core guarantee of liberty.

8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re:"Obama told human rights advocates at the White House on Wednesday that he was mulling the need for a "preventive detention" system that would establish a legal basis for the United States to incarcerate terrorism suspects who are deemed a threat to national security but cannot be tried", the turd never falls far from the ass

May 21, 2009 5:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear ACLU Supporter,

Earlier today, President Obama delivered a major speech on torture, Guantánamo Bay, and military commissions.

That speech and the national debate it will spark in the weeks ahead wouldn't be happening without you.

Without your energy, your commitment to principle, and your determination to keep America safe and free, there would be no national conversation about ending policies and practices that defy the Constitution and undermine the rule of law.

We were pleased to hear President Obama speak so movingly about respect for the Constitution, about the critical importance of due process, and about the horrible violation of American values that torture represents.

We do, however, strongly disagree with the president that modifying Bush-era military commissions can solve their basic injustice. Any system designed to produce a pre-ordained outcome -- rather than a free and fair trial -- is irreparably unjust.

Furthermore, creating a system of indefinite detention -- holding detainees for years without facing charges -- is a fundamental violation of the Constitution.

In the debate the president set in motion today, you can count on the ACLU to hold firm in defense of core principles. With you by our side, we will keep working to totally dismantle the Bush system of injustice and to create an America we can be proud of again.

Sincerely,


Anthony D. Romero
Executive Director
American Civil Liberties Union

May 21, 2009 7:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The current detainee's should be tried, released if found innocent, jailed if found guilty. Perhaps they could serve their sentence in one of the federal prisons housing white supremacists so they could appreciate the full benefits of America's mainland penal system.

May 22, 2009 12:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With respect to the ACLU, one of the greatest defenders of constitutional government, we no longer live under a "Bush system of justice". President Obama, in a short period of time, has shown himself fully capable of filling the shoes of The Shrub, albiet with a pretty smile. The distance between him and his predicessor is negligable. Let us stop talking as though we live in a functioning democracy and get some reality in progressive discussion.
Tony Vodvarka

May 23, 2009 8:10 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

SO LOAD YOUR GUNS AND OVERTHROW THEM!

THE SECOND AMENDMENT AIN'T ABOUT HUNTING


[The founders sought to protect arms from government interference, because those same arms might be needed to protect the people from government. They wanted to assure that the people remained both armed and dangerous to tyranny. [52] The Virginia Declaration of Rights not only reserved the right to overthrow a despotic government, but suggested it has an affirmative duty of the people:

[t]hat government is, or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security of the people, nation, or community; of all the various modes and forms of government, that is best ... is capable of producing the greatest degree of happiness and safety, and is most effectually secured against the danger of maladministration; and, whenever any government shall be found inadequate or contrary to these purposes, a majority of the community hath an indubitable, inalienable, and indefeasible right to reform, alter, or abolish it, in such manner as shall be judged most conducive to the public weal. [53] [p.597]

Mr. Mason's language remains unchanged in Virginia's current constitution. [54]

Our constitutional system has existed and prospered because of adherence to fundamental principles, and in particular to those liberties set forth in the Bill of Rights. [55] To suggest that the second amendment is entitled to less dignity than other amendments is to disparage the entire Bill of Rights. The second amendment is not about hunting but it is, in its final analysis, about liberty.]

May 23, 2009 3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Mike, Guns? Don't even think about it. Violence is the coin of our government and exactly what they prize for settinig the conditions for martial law. Every step along the way of the strangulation of our Constitution has been marked by "incidents" that have justified it, the Weathermen, Symbionese Liberation Army, Black Panthers, Oklahoma City, Waco, the first Trade Center bombing. They achieved nothing except the justification of government force. The answer lies in non-violent boycotts, beginning with the total boycott of the major corporate media and culminating in the general strike, think Gandhi and King. As the Irish revolutionary Michael Collins taught, the stregnth of the citizenry is in their REFUSAL. Keep the guns for filling the pot.
Tony Vodvarka

May 24, 2009 8:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

as a reitred USAF officer i have one comment AMERICA JUST LOST FREEDOM WE NOW HAVE A DICTATOR WITH NOTHING BUT IN UNIFORM TO BE PRESIDENT THAN ONE YEAR IN THE SENATE AND AVOIDED THE DRAFT IN VIETNAM THAN A BEGGING FOR A LOAD SO HE WOULD NOT BE DRAFTED HOW ON EARTH DID THE U.S.A ELECT A ATHIEST AS PUR PRESIDENT WHO IS A DICTATOR NOT A CONSTITUTIONAL LEADER AS OUR CONSTITUTION ALLOWS THANK YOU FIRST TIME VOTERS FOR DEFILING OUR COUNTRY AND MAKEING A DICTATOR OUR PRESIDENT PAT YOUR SELFS ON THE BACK ( FOR ALL THE FOOLS WHO VOTED FOR THIS FRAUED ) BLACK PURPLE GREEN OR BLUE DOES NOT MATTER JUST LOOK AT WHAT THE FOOL IS DOING RIGHT NOW ( GINGRISH WAS RUGHT WE ARE DOOMED AS THE USA)

PROUDLY SIGNED
SUNDANCE58

June 9, 2009 9:19 PM  
Anonymous JD whitter said...

for all the idiots that voted for this fool please remember this day as your mistake you idots you did it now live with it

JD whitter

June 9, 2009 9:21 PM  

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