Tag Archives: detainees

Lock Em Up, Throw Away The Key, Says Judge To Obama

Every president reaches a point in his term of office when the Constitution must be upheld regardless of political consequences. In the 1950s, President Eisenhower who was not a fan of integration ordered troops to protect the right of Negro children to attend school in Little Rock, Arkansas. Today, Barack Obama has to decide if his campaign words were simply rhetoric to secure votes or did they reflect his legal training in protecting Constitutional rights. US District Judge John Bates said Congress gave the president authority to hold anyone for as long as he desired if they were considered to be linked to terrorist attacks. “The president has the authority to detain persons that the president determines planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 1, 2001 and persons who harbored those responsible for those attacks.”

Once upon a time in America the president did not have the authority he determined were guilty of a crime since one was supposedly innocent until proven guilty. But, George Bush believes the president can do whatever he desires as long as he shouts, “9/11.” So far, Barack Obama has come across as “Bush-light” when it comes to issues related to the rights of people “charged with crimes.”

In November, 1943, in the midst of a world war, Prime Minister Winston Churchill said:
“the power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers, is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist.”

Bush Legacy Lingers On And On And On…

Eight years ago, American forces invaded Afghanistan and during the hostilities captured dozens of men. Actually, after the fighting ended local Afghan forces turned over individuals t the Americans they claimed had been part of the Taliban. To this day, it is unclear whether some of those detainees were simply given to the Americans to settle grudges or because they were not wanted in Afghanistan. Eight years later, President Obama has decided to close the Guantanamo prison. A major problem is use of torture will make difficult introducing evidence into any trials these men might be forced to endure. No states in America are anxious to host in their prisons any of the detainees, no states want their court system to be involved in trying these cases, so the Obama administration is seeking the cooperation of European nations to take in the detainees.

Attorney General Holder is visiting European nations in hope of persuading some to take the prisoners. Hopefully, some of the detainees can be set free, some are unable to return to their own home countries because they will be subject to torture or death. Where does that leave America? On the short end of a very short stick. We wonder if there was a possibility the International Criminal Court could assume jurisdiction over the detainees. We are not certain if this is possible, but certainly it is worth investigating.