Obama Endorses Indefinite Detention Without Trial for Some Now at Guantanamo

By | May 22, 2009

Obama Endorses Indefinite Detention Without Trial for Some Now at Guantanamo

President Obama acknowledged publicly for the first time yesterday that some detainees at Guantanamo Bay may have to be held without trial indefinitely siding with conservative national security advocates on one of the most contentious issues raised by the closing of the military prison in Cuba. “We are going to exhaust every avenue that we have to prosecute those at Guantanamo who pose a danger to our country ” Obama said. “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.”

“We are going to exhaust every avenue that we have to prosecute those at Guantanamo who pose a danger to our country,” Obama said. “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.”

Some human rights advocates criticized Obama for adopting the idea that some detainees are not entitled to a trial. Others said the president was boxed in by cases inherited from the Bush administration in which possible prosecution had been irretrievably compromised by coercive interrogation.

The president stopped short of saying he would institutionalize indefinite detention for future captives.

“The issue is framed pretty exclusively in terms of existing Guantanamo detainees,” said Tom Malinowski, the head of Human Rights Watch’s Washington office. “There is a big difference between employing an extraordinary mechanism to deal with legacy cases compromised because of Bush administration actions and saying we need a permanent national security regime.”

But Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, said employing preventive detention simply because some cases at Guantanamo are too difficult to prosecute involves the kind of legal expediency that Obama said was a hallmark of his predecessor’s policies.

“My question is not only ‘What happens to those people who may be perpetually in prison?’ but ‘What kind of precedent does that set for the future?’ ” Ratner said. “It’s not one I find constitutional or acceptable. Opening that door even for a few Guantanamo detainees is anathema. He is closing Guantanamo physically, but he’s repackaging it with a little more legal gloss.”

via – washingtonpost

You can not capture and hold people in cages indefinitely with no charges.  Everyone knows this is wrong. It is a gross violation of human rights.

Individual human rights apply even if your captor is the largest most powerful government in the world.

This will inflame our enemies. It will make new enemies out of potential friends. It is a wrong and stupid decision.

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