Obama has ordered the resumption of these trials — denounced both domestically and internationally as trumped up proceedings designed to make convictions easier by omitting core constitutional and procedural protections. Indeed, these tribunals are being heralded as guaranteeing swift punishment — an implied recognition that we could not convict some of these individuals in a fair federal trial.
It is a cynical calculation by the Administration that civil libertarians have no where to go in the next election — a calculation that has been reaffirmed by many liberals who complain about Obama’s anti-civil liberties policies but still say that they have to support him. This support is continuing despite Obama’s blocking of any prosecution for torture or investigation of alleged war crimes.
The Republicans have complimented Obama on his decision and drawn the fair and obvious conclusion that he has once again reaffirmed Bush’s policies. Rep. Peter King, the Republican chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, observed “the bottom line is that it affirms the Bush administration policy that our government has the right to detain dangerous terrorists until the cessation of hostilities.”
The Obama Administration’s position is perfectly incomprehensible. As with Bush, Obama will now choose Caesar-like between those who will receive a fair trial in federal court and those who are sent to military tribunals. The decision will be made on the need for the tribunals to secure conviction under “special” rules that deny the defendant core protections and rights.
Source: The Washington Post