Sunday, December 26, 2010

"Our system provides a simple answer developed over hundreds of years - try them or release them."

Obama's Liberty Problem: Why Indefinite Detention by Executive Order Should Scare the Hell Out of People

The proposal to create a special new legal system by Executive Order is an extremely dangerous end run around Congress and the Judiciary.

By Vince Warren and Bill Quigley

The right to liberty is one of the foundation rights of a free people. The idea that any US President can bypass Congress and bypass the Courts by issuing an Executive Order setting up a new legal system for indefinite detention of people should rightfully scare the hell out of the American people.

Advisors in the Obama administration have floated the idea of creating a special new legal system to indefinitely detain people by Executive Order. Why? To do something with the people wrongfully imprisoned in Guantanamo. Why not follow the law and try them? The government knows it will not be able to win prosecutions against them because they were tortured by the US.

Guantanamo is coming up on its ninth anniversary - a horrifying stain on the character of the US commitment to justice. President Obama knows well that Guantanamo is the most powerful recruitment tool for those challenging the US. Unfortunately, this proposal for indefinite detention will prolong the corrosive effects of the illegal and immoral detentions at Guantanamo rightly condemned world-wide.

The practical, logical, constitutional and human rights problems with the proposal are uncountable.

Our system provides a simple answer developed over hundreds of years - try them or release them. Any other stop gap measure like the one proposed merely pushes the problem back down the road and back into the courts again. While it may appear to be a popular political response, the public will soon enough see this for what it is - an unconstitutional usurping of power by the Executive branch and a clear and present danger to all Americans...

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