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Obama Supports Indefinite Detention Without Trial

Obama Supports Indefinite Detention Without Trial

Obama is giving his speech now on the issue of terrorist detention policy and the closing of Gitmo. I’ll leave it to others to parse all aspects of the speech, although it is clear that the overriding theme is: “It’s not my fault, blame Bush.” As if no other President in history inherited problems from his predecessor.

One headline worthy aspect of the speech, however, is that Obama signalled that he would continue to detain indefinitely those detainees who could not be tried either in court or in a military tribunal or transferred to another country, but who pose a threat to the United States. As examples, Obama cited those who have pledged allegiance to alQaeda, or undergone explosives training.

In other words, while Obama argues over the details of the Bush detention policies, Obama accepts the core principle that the United States has the right to detain enemy combatants who threaten the United States without subjecting that detention to domestic judicial review.

While we may quibble over the details of detention, this aspect of the speech reflects a mature assessment of national security which was lacking from campaign rhetoric, and stands starkly at odds with much of Obama’s base of support.

UPDATE: The transcript is here, and the quoted language, as follows:

Finally, there remains the question of detainees at Guantanamo who cannot be prosecuted yet who pose a clear danger to the American people.

I want to be honest: this is the toughest issue we will face. We are going to exhaust every avenue that we have to prosecute those at Guantanamo who pose a danger to our country. But even when this process is complete, there may be a number of people who cannot be prosecuted for past crimes, but who nonetheless pose a threat to the security of the United States. Examples of that threat include people who have received extensive explosives training at al Qaeda training camps, commanded Taliban troops in battle, expressed their allegiance to Osama bin Laden, or otherwise made it clear that they want to kill Americans. These are people who, in effect, remain at war with the United States.

As I said, I am not going to release individuals who endanger the American people. Al Qaeda terrorists and their affiliates are at war with the United States, and those that we capture – like other prisoners of war – must be prevented from attacking us again. However, we must recognize that these detention policies cannot be unbounded. That is why my Administration has begun to reshape these standards to ensure they are in line with the rule of law. We must have clear, defensible and lawful standards for those who fall in this category. We must have fair procedures so that we don’t make mistakes. We must have a thorough process of periodic review, so that any prolonged detention is carefully evaluated and justified.

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Comments

Which, of course means . . . we are still at war, in the war on terror.

How else could it be justified, regardless of the latest Janet Napolitano attempt at agreeing while parsing — saying “yes,” but specifying that we are only, “very engaged in and working with our international partners and others in preventing terrorist acts from occurring.”

She, and I suspect the rest of them, just do not want to let go of that “man-caused disaster” thingy she floated a while back.

From the speech:

As I said, I am not going to release individuals who endanger the American people. Al Qaeda terrorists and their affiliates are at war with the United States, and those that we capture – like other prisoners of war – must be prevented from attacking us again.Wait a second . . . did he just declare all the al-Qaeda detainees to be “prisoners of war?

So . . . there will no longer be any interrogation of any captured detainees beyond name, rank and serial number?

And since they are not in any national or recognized armed forces, what are we down to?

All right, buster . . . what’s your name?

In other words, while Obama argues over the details of the Bush detention policies, Obama accepts the core principle that the United States has the right to detain enemy combatants who threaten the United States without subjecting that detention to domestic judicial review.

The difference: Obama will hold SOME war criminals without trial. (Due to Bush’s lack of evidence)
Bush will hold ALL war criminals without trial.

Kind of a big difference.

What was absolutely amazing beyond measure was the juxtaposition of the two speeches:

Obama, the graduate student junior senator from Illinois who has written 3 autobiographies by the age of 47…trying to defend himself with endless spin against…

… Dick Cheney who ran a blistering white hot iron pipe right up the messiah’s arse.

I find it extremely entertaining that Cheney has single-handedly run the entire liberal apparatus right off the rails.

Liberals will never comprehend that this is a bloody knuckles proposition. Terrorist zealots and fanatics understand nothing else. Get it?
Bullies will beat you up and take everyting you have until you decide to hit back. You cant talk them out of it…you cant reason with them.

They only understand the sharp pain of your fist in their face.

Cheney gets it.

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