Obama Administration Misses Deadline for Report on Detainees

180px-Camp_x-ray_detainees225px-official_portrait_of_barack_obamaIn yet another failure to honor its promises to civil libertarians, the Obama Administration has failed to honor its own deadline for the submission of a report on its policy for the detention of terror suspects. The report was expected to give details on Obama’s promise to shutdown the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay.

Obama has reportedly decided to give his Administration another six months.

The delay occurs at a time when the Administration has been adopting, and in some cases expanding, Bush terror policies. This includes the statement of Administration officials that, even if a detainee is acquitted in court, President Obama retained the right to hold the detainee indefinitely under his own authority.

Obama officials insist that they are making progress but simply need more time. However, when combined with the failure to order an investigation into the torture program (without outcome determinative limitations), the delay is seen as additional evidence of the reluctance of the Obama Administration to follow its clear legal obligations in this area. These detainees should not have been placed in a make-shift legal system in the first place. They should be transferred to our legal system and charged with any crimes alleged by the Administration. Instead, the Administration continues the Bush approach of rigging the system — creating special rules for detainees who would likely prevail in a fair trial.

For the full story, click here.

29 thoughts on “Obama Administration Misses Deadline for Report on Detainees

  1. Prof. will you confirm that this is you and not a ghost writer.

    In yet another failure to honor its promises to civil libertarians, the Obama Administration has failed.

    Just curious

  2. All righty then, so there is a difference between a campaign tail wind and a morning after inauguration head wind called the brain dead political system.

  3. Obama will do whatever it takes to prove that he is not soft on national security even if it means gutting the constitution. Bdaman, I don’t think it gives you fox mouthpieces an opening.

  4. Sorry if you posted this already, but worth a look.

    http://blogs.salon.com/0002762/2009/07/20.html#a3574

    Last week, an undercover New York City police officer participating in a drug buy shot and killed 49-year-old Shem Walker during an altercation at Walker’s home in Brooklyn. Police say Walker, described by family and neighbors as an ex-con who had reformed, apparently thought the officer was a drug dealer or a vagrant. When the officer didn’t respond to Walker’s verbal demand to leave his property, apparently because he was wearing earphones to monitor the drug buy, Walker tried to forcibly remove him from Walker’s front stoop. The two got into an altercation. A second undercover officer then joined the fight, at which point the first officer shot and killed Walker.

  5. I will add that if we can hold a person for 15 years on civil contempt for failure to pay/turn over money to his ex-wife, how long can we hold a detainee for National security Concerns?????

    Do not forget after the CIA was through with Manuel Noriega, yes the Panama dude. He was apprehended and held for trial. Our Sct stated that the 4th Amendment had not applicability outside of the US soil. Bad decision then, bad deception now.

    So this does not surprise me at all.

  6. Swarthmore mom

    The effects of the kool aid will remain as long as you continue to drink said kool aid. However it is possible to become sober by reading all the sobering news.

  7. Looks like the sobering news is working for some people.

    This was blatantly obvious BEFORE he was elected.

    Thank you, American Sheople!

  8. This was blatantly obvious BEFORE he was elected.

    BuelahMan r u sure u got dat rite, you mean selected, not elected.

  9. BuelahMan r u sure u got dat rite, you mean selected, not elected.

    You have a point, but let us never forget the idiots who actually marked the spot by his name.

  10. Obama will probably serve two terms if he can engineer an economic recovery. Although fox news is still portraying him as a leftist, he is moving ever closer to the center.

  11. This is not about Pres. Obama breaking his promises to civil libertarians. It is far more important than that. We may quibble all we wish about whether the detainees are protected by the Geneva Conventions, or by the Constitution or are entitled to the benefits of habeas corpus. What we cannot deny is that there are underlying principles of natural law which are daily being trampled in our ironic and wrongheaded obeisance to “national security.”

    The Founders recognized that there are certain rights which are
    fundamental in the sense that they are inherent in the nature of man. The Declaration of Independence describes them as “unalienable,” which means that they precede and are independent of government. Indeed, the principal function of government is to preserve and protect them. Among those natural rights are life and liberty. Whether we regard them as gifts from God or the products of reason is immaterial. They are not granted to us by government or society. While government may prescribe rules for social conduct and commercial intercourse, and prescribe penalties, including the loss of freedom, for the violation of those rules, it may not simply ignore those rights or deny them to any man through the arbitrary exercise of power.
    The concept of “indefinite detention,” therefore, has no foundation in the law and may be opposed by its victims in any manner reasonably deemed necessary for that purpose.

    Only the most obtuse among us fail to understand that this quagmire was created by an unlawful policy, the collection and incarceration of human beings based largely upon fear, innuendo and the payment of money. That is one of the legacies of the Bush administration. We may criticize and lament that policy, but we must also do something about it. Continuing detention is merely a capitulation to evil and a gross violation of the rights of man.

  12. he is moving ever closer to the center.

    Thats CIA speak for he’s almost in the center of my scope, with night vision.

    idiots who actually marked the spot by his name. Next

  13. Today we learned that the U.S. armed forces in Afghanistan are now spearheading a major effort at (drum roll) … prison reform. We’ve figured out that the brutal treatment that even petty criminals face while in jail is facilitating Taliban recruitment in the prisons, and so the United States is going to build some new facilities and try to get the Afghan government to change its incarceration practices. Your tax dollars at work.

    Take it from us The U.S. of America we are prisons like toy’s r us.

    Prison reform is badly needed back here in the United States — where the incarceration rate is the highest in the world (Russia and Belarus — well-known bastions of freedom — are #2 and #3). In fact, the incarceration rate in the United States is nearly four times the world average, and nearly seven times higher than in the EU.

    http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2009/07/20/mission_creep_in_afghanistan

  14. I agree with Mike Appleton. We should get rid of the rules created at the Geneva Conventions and operate wars consistent with U.S. Laws.

    If we want to enter a cave, we should need a warrant. They have a right to privacy.

    Prisoners of War should have the ability to post bond.

  15. Mike A.

    That was very well said. There are other extremely disturbing aspects of what is happening during all the delays. First of all we are still torturing our detainees. Secondly, the administration is moving some of the detainees into even blacker holes than Gitmo, namely Bagram, and most recently, they hope to move three people to a prison in Italy known as the Italian Gitmo, said to be even worse that our Gitmo. I will link to this story.

    There has never been a need to keep anyone in Gitmo. Cheney and Addington came up with that plan in the basement of the WH on 9/11. They wanted a place that would allow them to keep people from access to either military or civilian law. That the Obama administration continues this policy is an abomination. JAG lawyers and civil liberties groups laid out clear plans for the immediate closure of Gitmo prior to Obama’s election. Instead, Obama allows torture to continue both there and abroad.

    The Center for Constitutional Rights is urging people to write their Senators on this matter. At this time the Obama administration is trying to change three important laws regarding detainees: 1. they would like to make legal the use of contractors in interrogations. I think we all understand the consequences of paid mercenaries who are not answerable to any law, and have no experience as interrogators, being used as detainee torturers. 2. Obama is fighting the videotaping of every interogation. Why is that? We need those videotapes, on the record, no exceptions. 3. Finally, Obama is trying to amend the MCA to let him hold the innocent and indefinitely detain whomever he wants. I refere anyone to Mike A. summary of this scheme.

    Following is the information on the transfere of detainees to the Italian Gitmo. The more stalling the administration does, the more time to transfere people to even worse black holes:

    http://www.andyworthington.co.uk/2009/07/17/italys-guantanamo-obama-plans-rendition-of-tunisians-in-guantanamo-to-italian-jail/

  16. On a some what related note. I physically cringed when I heard Sec. of State Hillary Clinton demanding that capture U.S. soilder Howe Bergdahl be treated in accordance with the Geneva Conventions by his captors. I mean, it’s pretty funny to think of what we’ll do to them when(if) we catch them.

    I was really amused after all the pictures of captured al qiada, taliban etc. , when I thought about the absolute disgust, honor and protest W had when Lindsey “What’s Her Name” , and her comrads where shown on t.v. during our most rcent invasion of Iraq. Protests of Geneva Convention violations for showing them on T.V. recieving treatment at a hospital. wow.

    Years ago I read a book called “They Fought Like Lions” about the Zulu wars in Natal. (good book) There was an exchange that always stuck in my mind where some Zulus had been captured and the British soilders were getting ready to torture them to death. The Brits were extremely upset because of the really grusome way the Zulus torture any captured British.

    Anyway, the Zulu prisoners protested before the torture began and in essense said, “Hey, what are you doing?? You guys don’t torture your prisoners to death for fun.”

    The Brits basically replied, “The F_ck you say, you guys torture us to death when you catch us!!!”

    And the Zulus replied, “Yeah, but we’re Zulus, that what we always do, you knew that when you started this war. But you guys don’t do that to you prisoners, so, you know, this really doesn’t seem fair.”

    The Zulu’s argument won the day, and the British decided they were British and not Zulus after
    all.

    Odd that we seem to be less enlightened than the colonial forces of Imperial Britain. Who were, perhaps,not such nice guys.

  17. seamus,

    That’s exactly what I was thinking listening to Gates. The man knows full well we torture people we capture. Yes, I’m glad he is speaking out on behalf of our guy, but what credibility do we have?

    One of the saddest part of the film, “Torturing Democracy” was when one of our detainees who had been released said something like, “what happens when this is the Americans doing this to you? They are supposed to save you from this and they’re doing it. Who’s going to come? ”

    Here’s info from the CCR:

    “Dear CCR Supporter,
    I’m writing to you today about a matter of critical importance. The U.S. Senate is in the process of debating the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2010. The NDAA currently includes a provision that bans the use of private military contractors from conducting interrogations of detainees. Also, an amendment to the bill could require the video recording of all interrogations.
    The White House is opposed to the provision that bans the use of private contractors from conducting interrogations and is also opposed to any amendment requiring video recording. There is a possibility that these elements could be stripped from the bill. Tell the Senate to keep them in.”

    http://ccrjustice.org/

  18. Let’s not forget about the covert operations taking place on U.S. soil — operations that have not yet been exposed. Is this really America?

  19. If you were feeling that you were all alone, dont.

    WASHINGTON (AP) – Congressional Democrats warned President Barack Obama on Tuesday that he sounded too much like George W. Bush when he declared this summer that the White House can ignore legislation he thinks oversteps the Constitution.

    http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D99IVL480&show_article=1

    No wonder they had such a easy transition. One moves out and the next one moves in.

  20. Here is another case of the Obama administration refusing to argue a case on its merits, this being an extremely important case, as in effect, the DOJ has ended up suspending the right of habeas corpus. This comes via Andy Worthington who is one of the go-to people for information we never see about our detainees.

    “Two weeks ago, the indefatigable Carol Rosenberg of the Miami Herald, Guantánamo’s most dedicated reporter, outlined the story of Umar Abdulayev, the last Tajik prisoner in Guantánamo, who has been cleared for release from the prison on two occasions — once by a military review board under the Bush administration, and six weeks ago by the Obama administration’s inter-departmental Guantánamo Task Force, established by President Obama on his second day in office…

    {DOJ} lawyers informed Judge Reggie Walton on June 3 that they “will no longer defend his detention, and want US diplomats to arrange to repatriate him.”

    However, as Abdulayev’s lawyers explained, there were two fundamental problems with this decision. The first, as Andrew Moss explained to me last week, is that the Task Force’s decision led immediately to a request from the Justice Department to indefinitely stay Abdulayev’s habeas appeal, on the basis that “there was now nothing more the court could do” for him. As Moss explained, “The court granted that request over our opposition,” which was based on the fact that the Task Force’s decision was “not a determination that [Abdulayev’s] detention was or was not lawful,” and that it therefore “does nothing towards removing the stigma of being held in Guantánamo or being accused of being a terrorist by the United States.”

    The result, as Andrew Moss stated bluntly, is that the writ of habeas corpus, granted to the prisoners by the US Supreme Court last June, is “effectively suspended.”

    This is a disturbing development, not only because it deprives Abdulayev of the opportunity to be cleared publicly by a court (as opposed to being cleared by an unaccountable Executive review that reaches its conclusions in private), but also because it does not address a second problem for Abdulayev; namely, that he is terrified of being returned to Tajikistan.”

    http://www.andyworthington.co.uk/2009/07/21/obamas-failure-to-deliver-justice-to-the-last-tajik-in-guantanamo/

  21. This is unacceptable. We have to look past rhetoric to actual events. Other people’s lives depend on us being honest about this govt.

    “They were to be disappointed. A year after Obama’s election win, Al Jazeera has learnt that despite the new president’s pledge to close the prison and improve the conditions of detainees held by the US military, prisoners believe that their treatment has deteriorated on his watch.

    Authorities at the prison deny mistreating the inmates, but interviews with former detainees, letters from current prisoners and sworn testimony from independent medical experts who have visited the prison have painted a disturbing picture of psychological and physical abuse very much at odds with White House rhetoric on prisoner treatment.”

    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/11/10-0

  22. Jill,

    Thanks for taking the time to search for and update this thread.

    Even Mr. Obama’ staunchest supporters must see the abject hypocrisy with this and other policies of the Obama Administration.

  23. You’re welcome. Other people’s lives have to matter to us. Mr. Peace Prize is, by all accounts, expected to call for a 50% increase in troop levels. When other people are being killed, maimed and tortured we must be willing to give up our illusions about Obama. Illusions aren’t acceptable under these circumstances. Protests are planned against the troop increases. Veterans for Peace is one such group but there are many others.

Comments are closed.