Wow: When Barry Met Kathy
Via the BBC:
Detainees being held at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan cannot use US courts to challenge their detention, the US says.
The justice department ruled that some 600 so-called enemy combatants at Bagram have no constitutional rights.
Most have been arrested in Afghanistan on suspicion of waging a terrorist war against the US.
The move has disappointed human rights lawyers who had hoped the Obama administration would take a different line to that of George W Bush.
Prof Barbara Olshansky, the lead counsel in a legal challenge on behalf of four Bagram detainees, told the BBC the justice department’s decision not to reform the rules was both surprising and “enormously disappointing”.
The BBC’s Kevin Connolly in Washington says the move has angered human rights lawyers, with one saying the new White House was endorsing the view of the old one, that prisons could be created and run outside the law.
It is certainly evidence that having set the tone for his administration by announcing plans to close Guantanamo Bay, Mr Obama intends to adopt a much more cautious approach to the problem of detainees held elsewhere by the US military, our correspondent says.
But didn’t actions like this make President Bush a “war criminal”? Ed Morrissey elaborates:
Remember how the Left considered Bush a war criminal for taking this exact position? I’d like to see how they square the circle with Obama now. A few like Glenn Greenwald will rip Obama on principle, but the rest will suddenly discover the reasonableness of detaining terrorists and treating them not like burglars but like enemy combatants who have themselves violated Geneva Conventions through their terrorism.
Just as we did in the George Bush administration.
All statements from Barack Obama come with expiration dates. That’s something that the HopeandChangizoids have begun to learn just a month after the dawning of the Age of Obama. A lot of them owe Bush — and us — apologies.
I won’t hold my breath.
Cross-posted to Right Wing News, where I am helping guestblog for John Hawkins on Sundays.