January 22, 2009

America is America again: Habeus Corpus is back, Gitmo is (almost) history.

Why detain suspects on foreign soil? So they’re not eligible for right to trial and other basic human rights as enshrined in our own Constitution and Bill of Rights! If that’s not hypocrisy, a national shame and sham, I don’t know what is. I do know that Obama’s first act on first day in the Oval Office makes it a helluvalot easier to be patriotic.

Excerpt via NY Times:

The orders, which are the first steps in undoing detention policies of former PresidentGeorge W. Bush, rewrite American rules for the detention of terrorism suspects. They require an immediate review of the 245 detainees still held at the naval base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to determine if they should be transferred, released or prosecuted.

And the orders bring to an end a Central Intelligence Agency program that kept terrorism suspects in secret custody for months or years, a practice that has brought fierce criticism from foreign governments and human rights activists. They will also prohibit the C.I.A. from using coercive interrogation methods, requiring the agency to follow the same rules used by the military in interrogating terrorism suspects, government officials said.

But the orders leave unresolved complex questions surrounding the closing of the Guantánamo prison, including whether, where and how many of the detainees are to be prosecuted. They could also allow Mr. Obama to reinstate the C.I.A.’s detention and interrogation operations in the future, by presidential order, as some have argued would be appropriate if Osama bin Laden or another top-level leader of Al Qaeda were captured.


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