May 03, 2009 by OCSteve
The Obama administration is moving toward reviving the military commission system for prosecuting Guantánamo detainees, which was a target of critics during the Bush administration, including Mr. Obama himself.
But in recent days a variety of officials involved in the deliberations say that after administration lawyers examined many of the cases, the mood shifted toward using military commissions to prosecute some detainees, perhaps including those charged with coordinating the Sept. 11 attacks.
"The more they look at it," said one official, "the more commissions don't look as bad as they did on Jan. 20."
Roll it out on a Friday night and no one will notice.
May 03, 2009, 23:44:37 hilzoy wrote:
OCS: I'm not commenting on this yet, since I have noticed a pattern: on detention stuff specifically, there have been several occasions on which there were leaked stories suggesting that the administration was about to do X, where X was something a lot closer to that the Bush administration did than I would like; and then when the decision is made, it's not X. The most recent example was the story in (iirc) the WSJ about how the administration had decided to release only a heavily redacted version of the memos, but it's a pattern.
May 04, 2009, 01:48:31 Ugh wrote:
I don't know hilzoy, you've got on the record statements from both Gates and Holder holding out the possibility of commissions.
Quite frankly, they need to charge these people in federal court or release them, into the U.S. if no one else will take them. It really isn't that hard.
May 04, 2009, 11:37:04 DaveC wrote:
Good news, Al Marri pleas guilty, doesn't get 5 years off 15 year sentence. Read between the lines: he was planning to stop Chicago El Trains in the subway portion and kill the passengers with cyanide gas. Of course the news reports didn't come right out and say it, but how many tunnels are there in Illinois or Missouri, anyway?
May 04, 2009, 11:55:20 DaveC wrote:
And part of the reasoning for going light on Padilla was that his plan for a dirty bomb wasn't approved or feasible, just blowing up apartments. My guess here is that those apartments were not three-flats. There are some mighty big buildings that have apartments in Chicago, where Padilla is from and where he previously committed murder. So, well what do you do? Wait until whatever it is happens and then go and arrest the guy? Or stop him from recruiting and communicating with co-conspirators? This is something that the new guys in charge of protecting the USA are apparently mulling over, and they should think about it and even ask for legal advice.
May 05, 2009, 02:34:29 russell wrote:
[i]And part of the reasoning for going light on Padilla[/i]
Yeah, because as we all know, what everyone has been calling for is for the feds to go light on Padilla.
It's easy to always be right if you live in your own world.
May 05, 2009, 04:56:06 russell wrote:
Just to make this something other than a drive-by, the issue for folks who object to our handling of Padilla isn't about whether we should "go light" on him or not.
It's whether people generally, and in Padilla's case US citizens specifically, can be held without being charged, and without recourse to any legal remedy, for as long as the government feels like holding them, on the President's say-so.
There's also the issue of torture, but I'll leave that for another day.
There are a very wide variety of options available between grabbing him and holding him in total isolation in brig for years, and doing nothing at all until he actually blows up an apartment building.
Regarding OC's original post, I'm with hilzoy. I'll wait and see what actually happens, and why.
May 05, 2009, 06:21:31 Turbulence wrote:
I think it is hilarious given DaveC's experience with his persecuted relative that DaveC wants to allow government agents to torture random citizens whenever they feel like with no review whatsoever.
May 05, 2009, 12:03:42 nous wrote:
Shorter Russell on DaveC -- Everything begins to look like a hammer when you think you're a nail.
May 05, 2009, 13:52:48 DaveC wrote:
[i]Everything begins to look like a hammer when you think you're a nail.[/i]
I don't really get that from russell, perhaps from Turb.
[quote]“Faith and knowledge,” Eagleton concludes, are not antithetical but “interwoven.” You can’t have one without the other, despite the Satanic claim that you can go it alone by applying your own independent intellect to an unmediated reality: “[b]All reasoning is conducted within the ambit of some sort of faith, attraction, inclination, orientation, predisposition, or prior commitment.[/b]” Meaning, value and truth are not “reducible to the facts themselves, in the sense of being ineluctably motivated by a bare account of them.” Which is to say that there is no such thing as a bare account of them. (Here, as many have noted, is where religion and postmodernism meet.)[/quote]
Not necessarily true, but something to think about.
May 06, 2009, 00:27:48 russell wrote:
That's an interesting piece, Dave, thanks for the link.
But I don't really see the connection to any of the topics under discussion. Other than, maybe, Eagleton's use of liberalism as a stalking horse for rationalism.
Political liberalism has many roots, many of which are profoundly religious.
And none of that really addresses the question of whether prisoners can be held indefinitely, without charge, at the whim of the President. Or tortured.
Other than, perhaps, to argue against those practices.
Look, in a nutshell what I'm saying is that doesn't matter if the person you're beating the snot out of is a bad person, a good person, a murderous person, or a person that wishes you either good or ill.
It's wrong to do it, and because it's wrong to do it, doing it corrupts you. But even the issue of its effect on you is besides the point.
Do we practice decimation? No, we do not. Do we round up the family members of prisoners and shoot them in the head? No we do not. Do we immerse prisoners in boiling oil? No we do not.
Why not? I bet we could get useful information out of all of those practices.
We don't do those things because they are wrong.
Locking someone up for years with no recourse to any review of their status and no way to challenge their imprisonment is wrong.
Slamming people against the wall, even with a towel wrapped around their neck to prevent whiplash, is wrong.
Ditto waterboarding, induced hypothermia, forced standing for days at a time, deprivation of sleep for days at a time, etc.
All of those things are wrong, just like decimation, killing family members of prisoners, or dipping prisoners in boiling oil are wrong.
It doesn't matter what Al Marri had in mind. It doesn't matter what Padilla planned to do.
There are steps we can take to protect ourselves that don't require us to brutalize people we hold as prisoners. The choice of torture or do nothing is a false choice. So, I refuse to accept it.
May 06, 2009, 07:35:00 dr ngo wrote:
What Russell said.
With bells on.
May 06, 2009, 07:58:22 OCSteve wrote:
And now Democrats block the money because there is no actual plan to close down Gitmo…
May 16, 2009, 17:57:42 Ugh wrote:
Hey - Looks like you made the right call here OCSteve!
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