Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Obama Seizes Power from the Courts

That may sound sensationalistic to some, but what else could a proposal for the Executive Branch to set up its own determinations regarding the indefinite detention of prisoners mean? No habeas appeal will release a prisoner, if the President says so. No charges brought. Hope of liberty will rest in a kangaroo "parole board" assembled by the President. If this is not the epitome of tyranny, I don't know what is.

See some great coverage here:

White House Drafts Executive Order For Indefinite Detention by Dafna Linzer

Guantánamo Prisoners Sacrificed In Political Horse-Trading Over “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
by Andy Worthington

Obama’s EO on Indefinite Detention: Wanting Bud McKeon’s Cake and Eating It Too
by Marcy Wheeler

The Obama Administration's Indefinite Detention Policy: The Return Of The President As King? by Big Tent Democrat
From the latter, who was willing to consider, grant you, some kind of system of indefinite detention, if it had checks and balances:

The key to my analysis was the President's statement that:
If and when we determine that the United States must hold individuals to keep them from carrying out an act of war, we will do so within a system that involves judicial and congressional oversight[.]
The reported proposed executive order on indefinite detention violates this condition. Instead, it reverts to the Bush system that President Obama criticized by saying "we must recognize that these detention policies cannot be unbounded. They can't be based simply on what I or the executive branch decide alone." Now the Obama Administration appears to be proposing an indeifinte detention system that indeed is based "simply on what [he] or the executive branch decide alone."

Such a system is in violation of the Geneva Conventions and the Constitution. It would be a travesty, and likely, a war crime.

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