And I do not mean just for Gitmo. I mean for AMERICANS. Yes, you read that right, Obama is going to sign into law INDEFINITE DETENTION for AMERICAN CITIZENS. Moreover, this applies not just to US Citizens abroad, but right here at home. Constitution, Schmonstitution, who needs that crappy old piece of paper? Apparently not Obama.
This is historic, and if anyone thinks for a second it isn’t, then they are simply fooling themselves. All of those people who screamed about indefinite detention of enemy combatants down at Gitmo, I sure as hell hope you are going to be screaming now. This is not just for those possible terrorists, this is for you, and me.
Now, I am no attorney, or Constitutional scholar, but I can read. The US Constitution, Amendment 6 says this: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
What is not clear about this?
I might add, I said from the very beginning that this alleged “Constitutional Scholar” probably became one so he could better dismantle the law. Sure is looking like it with this.
Glenn Greenwald’s article on this topic is outstanding, and I highly recommend you read the entire piece, but I do want to touch on some highlights here:
[snip] (Y)esterday announced that he would instead sign it into law (this is the same individual, of course, who unequivocally vowed when seeking the Democratic nomination to support a filibuster of “any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecom[s],” only to turn around – once he had the nomination secure — and not only vote against such a filibuster, but to vote in favor of the underlying bill itself, so this is perfectly consistent with his past conduct). As a result, the final version of the Levin/McCain bill will be enshrined as law this week as part of the the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). I wrote aboutthe primary provisions and implications of this bill last week, and won’t repeat those points here.
The ACLU said last night that the bill contains “harmful provisions that some legislators have said could authorize the U.S. military to pick up and imprison without charge or trial civilians, including American citizens, anywhere in the world” and added: “if President Obama signs this bill, it will damage his legacy.” Human Rights Watch said that Obama’s decision “does enormous damage to the rule of law both in the US and abroad” and that “President Obama will go down in history as the president who enshrined indefinite detention without trial in US law.”
Both groups pointed out that this is the first time indefinite detention has been enshrined in law since the McCarthy era of the 1950s, when — as the ACLU put it — “President Truman had the courage to veto” the Internal Security Act of 1950 on the ground that it “would make a mockery of our Bill of Rights” and then watched Congress override the veto. That Act authorized the imprisonment of Communists and other “subversives” without the necessity of full trials or due process (many of the most egregious provisions of that bill were repealed by the 1971 Non-Detention Act, and are now being rejuvenated by these War on Terror policies of indefinite detention). President Obama, needless to say, is not Harry Truman. He’s not even the Candidate Obama of 2008 who repeatedly insisted that due process and security were not mutually exclusive and who condemned indefinite detention as “black hole” injustice.
A return to McCarthyism under the Obama Administration is what we now have. Wow, great. That is just jake. For all of those people who did not believe us when we said Obama was Bush III, something about which I wrote extensively, who ridiculed, attacked, and demeaned, not only were we right, and bite me, but NOW look what has happened to our nation.
As I said, there is so much more to this article, I cannot begin to do it justice here, read it. But I do want to make sure you see this:
[snip] I need to say that again: long before, and fully independent of, anything Congress did, President Obama made clear that he was going to preserve the indefinite detention system at Guantanamo even once he closed the camp. (Emphasis mine.)That’s what makes the apologias over Obama and GITMO so misleading: the controversy over Guantanamo was not that about its locale — that it was based in the Caribbean Sea — so that simply closing it and then re-locating it to a different venue would address the problem. The controversy over Guantanamo was that it was a prison camp where people were put in cages indefinitely, for decades or life, without being charged with any crime. And that policy is one that President Obama whole-heartedly embraced from the start. [snip] (Click here to read the rest.)
If you prefer, you can watch Mr. Greenwald discuss this issue with Cenk Ungar here:
This is historic, this is horrible, this is McCarthyism, this is an affront to the US Constitution, this is abhorrent in every way, shape, and form.
I have just one question for those who voted for Obama: How do you like him NOW??