Fresh Off Negotiations w/Rahm, Lindsey Graham Demands Military Commissions AND Indefinite Detention

I guess, once Rahm Emanuel designated him the Acting Attorney General, Lindsey Graham realized he could demand even more from the Administration. Because now he is saying he will only support closing Gitmo if he can also pass a law authorizing indefinite detention.

“I’ve been talking to the administration for the last couple of days. I’m encouraged that we’re going to sit down and do some of the hard things we haven’t done as a nation after September 11.”“I think we need to change our laws to give our judges better guidance— rules of the road,” Graham said. “We need a statute to deal with that.”

[snip]

While Graham has long favored closing Guantanamo, he said Monday that his support for doing so is contingent on a new law to govern the detention of those the government wants to keep in custody outside the criminal justice system. He also said that, with such a statute in place, he could support Obama’s plan to convert a state prison in Illinois to a federal facility for former Guantanamo inmates.

“I think Thomson, Ill., in the hands of the military, could become a secure location,” he said. “My view is we can start to close Guantanamo only after we reform our laws.” [my emphasis]

I mean, if a person as all-powerful as Rahm Emanuel gives you unlimited powers to rewrite our Constitution, why not up the ante and eliminate habeas corpus while you’re at it?

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  1. klynn says:

    While Graham has long favored closing Guantanamo, he said Monday that his support for doing so is contingent on a new law to govern the detention of those the government wants to keep in custody outside the criminal justice system. He also said that, with such a statute in place, he could support Obama’s plan to convert a state prison in Illinois to a federal facility for former Guantanamo inmates.

    This needs to have Constitutional lawyers across the country screaming loudly.

    • bmaz says:

      A great many indeed have, along with other of us Not Constitutional Scholar lawyers (although if Obama qualifies as a Constitutional scholar, then perhaps I can).

      • klynn says:

        There are days I just tighten the tin foil and conclude that only five of the six nukes were recovered from the bent spear incident at Minot/Barksdale and that we need to get our geiger counters out…

        Because I think we are having our leadership held hostage by a threat… it’s the only answer I can come up with that seems to makes “crazy sense.”

        (BTW that link from 2000, is OT but is an eye opening read from the Guardian.)

        • Loo Hoo. says:

          klynn, I have the same feeling. It wouldn’t be possible for Cheney to be out there bragging about his involvement in torture with no threat of prosecution unless Obama was under threat for his life.

          Remember, Sara was asking about Cheney owning part of Blackwater/Xe.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      No.
      It needs the Dems to get some spine, and it needs the FBI to start interviewing US Senators regarding their opportunistic abuse of legislative power to manipulate foreign and military policies.

      Lindsey Graham realized he could demand even more from the Administration. Because now he is saying he will only support closing Gitmo if he can also pass a law authorizing indefinite detention.

      Those are the demands of a tyrant, not the negotiations of a politically skilled legislator.

      WTF are the Dems doing letting **anyone** (D or R) pull sh!t like this nonsense?!

      And can anyone explain to me why this is not illegal?

      (Pardon me while I go review that MTP clip of Brennan calling out electeds for playing politics with national security, just to lower my blood pressure… *sigh*…)

  2. PJEvans says:

    Hasn’t it dawned on any of these people that it could be used to lock up them, or their families or friends or supporters, or do they think it’s only going to be used on people they don’t like?

    Because torture and indefinite detention and secret prisons always start out being used against Other People, and end up being used against anyone who might be an enemy of the folks in power. (That’s one of the things you’re supposed to learn from history, and yet politicians never seem to learn it.)

      • MadDog says:

        What Rahmbo doesn’t understand about Lindsey politics: Selling one’s soul to the devil is never enough. He always comes back for more.

          • MadDog says:

            Folks have compared Rahmbo to Rove, but what they fail to see is that Rove had some level of “cunning” where Rahmbo is just flat out, undeniably stupid.

            And what does it say about Obama that he has as his Chief of Staff someone so incredibly dumb?

            • emptywheel says:

              Yeah, I think that’s a critical point taht deserves repeating.

              Rahm has all of Rove’s bad points (with, perhaps, a slightly better instinct for staying on the right side of the law), but none of Rove’s real shrewdness.

              We lose coming and going.

              • temptingfate says:

                Rahm has all of Rove’s bad points (with, perhaps, a slightly better instinct for staying on the right side of the law), but none of Rove’s real shrewdness.

                Nor Rove’s ability to keep himself and his real motivations out of the limelight. Rahn is the romantic, though cantankerous lead in a movie that plays 24/7 inside his mind, Rove was more like Svengali with just a hint of Gollum.

            • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

              True or not, I dunno, other than I sure respect your views on such topics.

              But it galls me that this takes the focus away from Lindsay Graham, who like Shelby’s holds over an Air Force deal, sure look a lot like two tyrants extorting.

              Oh, ‘on behalf of their states’, or whatever, I’m sure is what they say. But the brazen demands, the unreasonable obstruction their actions produce, and the — frankly, ‘second-third guessing’ of what should be MILITARY and INTEL matters just has me too disgusted for patience today.

              Do the Germans allow a single member of the Bundestag to determine what military hardware their government will purchase, just to buy off that single vote?

              Do the French military simply fume and allow one member of the French parliament to tell their Pres. what **military or civil** laws will be followed, according to his/her personal dictat?

              This is tyrannical.
              And I cannot for the life of me see how this is not considered ‘manipulating’ government contracts, and worse.

              Rahm is almost a side issue at this point for me.
              I’m no fan, but I can’t see that Kennedy, LBJ, Ike, Truman, or even Hoover ever had to basically have their staff spending time with tyrannical senators who were constantly making demands and filibuster and hold threats — this is not a functional system.

              It’s like watching punks constantly hit up a 7-11, and I’m fed up with it.

              Man, I hope Brennan comes out smoking, with a trail of other Intel leaders and execs right on his heels and the whole military brass to boot and draws a ‘rhetorical line in the sand’ in DC for lobbyists, Congresscritters, staff, etc, and says, “You cross this threshold, and we’ll start to question who you are really working for – just be aware that new rules are about to be in place.”

              • MadDog says:

                …But it galls me that this takes the focus away from…

                From a zillion different and important things!

                And I wouldn’t put it past the Obama administration to be running their own PsyOps on the US public to “sell” not only their current ongoing major Afghan operation in Marja as a “success”, but their whole “we be fighting terrorists” pushback on Cheney & Co.

                • PPDCUS says:

                  Triumph of more bright shiny objects over the Constitution … and we were sold 2008’s election as the pre-emption a third Cheney term.

                • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

                  Don’t miss Attackermann on the guy who just got caught:

                  The Taliban’s military commander has been captured in a joint Pakistani-U.S. intelligence raid. A high-five to Langley: this is one serious motherfucking success. Now it’s really important we don’t screw it all up by abusing Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.

          • PJEvans says:

            And whatever you’ve been promised won’t be what you thought you were going to be getting. (‘You want to be a powerful political party? Sure.’ [But it will be regional rather than national.])

        • bobschacht says:

          That’s what I’m hoping: Blinded by success, Sen. Graham escalates his demands until *everyone* realizes what a ridiculous gasbag he is. The ancient Greeks used to say that Whom the Gods would destroy, they first make Mad. And they didn’t mean angry-mad. They meant crazy-mad.

          Or is this part of his program to rehabilitate himself with the Teabaggers, who were about to teabag him?

          Bob in AZ

      • Jeff Kaye says:

        Yes, we remember well the Graham amendment in Nov. 2005, which aimed at taking away from the courts the right to consider habeas petitions from Guantanamo prisoners. McCain was a supporter, as were these five Democrats: Senators Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Kent Conrad of North Dakota and Ron Wyden of Oregon. Hm, what a surprise.

        It’s not a surprise, though, to see the Obama administration, with Rahm as the chief spokesman, lining up behind the money men at the Pentagon, not the old admirals, like Jon Hutson, or the former military prosecutors, but the ones with their hands in the contractor-WOT cookie jar, who know that war is good business. And having boogie men locked up forever who could destroy America by their very freedom — no matter where in the world they are — is red meat for the pro-military/intel crowd. The gravy train just keeps on rolling, and the Obama administration, with Rahm as engineer, likes to blow the whistle. Comin’ on through, bleeding hearts. And the the whistle screams at the crossing, “Fuuuuuck youuuu! Fuuuuuck youuuu!”

        • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

          You make a very good point, Jeff.

          Part of my concern is that until the kind of nonsense that Graham and Shelby are pulling is exposed and called out on the carpet, the ‘old admirals’ get screwed by tyrants in Congress, and also by a rhetorical environment that leads people to panic, rather than THINK.

          I’m assuming the ‘old admirals’ are thinkers.

          Someone needs to put a firehose on all this panicky, threat-riddled extreme-worst-case-scenario lunacy that constantly gets spewed to the US public.
          It’s crazymaking, and it plays right into the hands of the Xe moneygrabbers, among its bad results.

          (I doubt the ‘old admirals’ have any regard at all for the Xe ‘privatization’ model.)

  3. ezdidit says:

    We know that torture doesn’t work. We know it from interrogators and McCain himself when he was rational.

    We know that captive suspects shared important intel only when they were protected from torture and even befriended.

    Is it really so hard to document that? Is it not time to dispel the bullshit that Republicans yell at us?

    At one point or another, the President is going to have to address this subject and quash the Republican daddy factor once and for all with the facts:

    Republicans politicize this matter to scare the bejeesus out of people who are too stupid to read. They are lying! They are lying! And they are detestable. They frighten and hatemonger for political advantage, and John Brennan himself should address Republicans as the screaming children that they have become. We do not need a Lindsey Graham, but we do need intelligence officials who are serious about our safety. In fact, Democrats do not need Republicans at all – ever!

  4. Teddy Partridge says:

    Lindsay Graham is a closeted homosexual, about as dishonest a person as exists in today’s political climate. Why has this White House decided to empower two of Obama’s vanquished opponent’s bestest buddies, including this dishonest person? It is absurd.

    Just because Pat Leahy can probably keep up with Rahm curse for curse is no reason to ignore the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee when setting detainee policy.

  5. Loo Hoo. says:

    You know, if Cheney and Bush could put billions of dollars in shrink wrap in the name of the war on terror, why can’t Obama just open the prison in Illinois in the name of terror? I don’t understand the distinction.

    And if it’s because the republicans will wet their pants, why isn’t the democratic party pointing at them with their hands over their mouths to mask the laughing?

  6. DWBartoo says:

    Well, EW and MadDog have summed up Rahm Emanuel in the totality of his splendor, but he is still a thug. In fact, a thug’s thug.

    He is Obama’s enforcer, without doubt, but he is far too pusillanimous for the tasks set before him.

    Consider Cass Sunstein, now there is a real intellectual thug, whose ham-fisted glow hovers over all of these “too clever by half” bipartisan follies.

    DW

  7. MadDog says:

    The Breaking News on CNN (via the NYT):

    Secret Joint Raid Captures Taliban’s Top Commander

    The Taliban’s top military commander was captured several days ago in Karachi, Pakistan, in a secret joint operation by Pakistani and American intelligence forces, according to American government officials.

    The commander, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, is an Afghan described by American officials as the most significant Taliban figure to be detained since the American-led war in Afghanistan started more than eight years ago. He ranks second in influence only to Mullah Muhammad Omar, the Taliban’s founder and a close associate of Osama bin Laden before the Sept. 11 attacks.

    Mullah Baradar has been in Pakistani custody for several days, with American and Pakistani intelligence officials both taking part in interrogations, according to the officials…

    I’m guessing there’s no Miranda warning being given. If that’s alright with Senator Kit Bond.

    • skdadl says:

      I sometimes wonder whether your senior military and intel people ever read the story of the little boy who cried wolf when they were kids.

      I dunno. Maybe they’re actually telling the truth this time. But they’ve either been stupid or they’ve lied so many times before that no one is gonna believe them. I never believe them any more.

      Plus, what is the legal status of the Taliban in the U.S.? They aren’t on your terrist list. They aren’t on ours either. They aren’t al-Qaeda. Exactly what do they want from this guy?

      • MadDog says:

        …Exactly what do they want from this guy?

        I’m guessing that some high-level muckety mucks in the Administration (General McCrystal and Ambassador Holbrooke for example) might be looking for a deal. Or else!

        We’ll see…or perhaps not. *g*

      • freepatriot says:

        I sometimes wonder whether your senior military and intel people ever read the story of the little boy who cried wolf when they were kids.

        yeah yeah

        boy cries wolf, has a few laughs

        I forget how it ends …

        stolen from the simpsons

        • skdadl says:

          Imagine what it must be like not to know that your day will end with a feather bed and the freedom to sleep in it as long as you need. G’night, all, and Lord have mercy on us all.

      • MadDog says:

        Robin Wright was on CNN talking about the capture and brought up an interesting point: Could the US take custody of Mullah Baradar, and what would they do with him?

        The options as I see it:

        1. Pakistan and their ISI retains custody, but as the NYT article says, the Pakistani intelligence intervened and arranged for Mullah Baradar to be freed from his Afghan capture once before back in November 2001. Have things changed enough in Pakistan that they wouldn’t do so again? Who knows? I wouldn’t put any money on the steadfastness or trustworthiness of the Pakistanis and their ISI.

        2. Afganistan gets custody. This might happen, but the Pakistanis have no love for the Karzai government. And then the question would be what would the Afghans do? Does a “deal” again lay on the table?

        3. US gets custody. If this were to happen, I’d guess the US would “temporarily” retain him in someplace like the Bagram detention center, but would likely under current policies to then have to transfer him into Afghan custody.

        I can’t see the Obama administration slipping all the way back to the Gitmo “indefinite detention” and “interrogation” policies of the previous administration. I have no doubt the Repugs will make a political spectacle of themselves and argue that this is just what the Obama administration should do.

        I do think the US will try mightily to make a “deal” with Mullah Baradar.

        I also think that regardless of the “custody” issue, the US via General McCrystal’s Special Ops friends in the region will go full steam ahead on a PsyOps effort to undermine the Taliban’s rank-and-file with Mullah Baradar’s capture.

    • Sara says:

      “I’m guessing there’s no Miranda warning being given. If that’s alright with Senator Kit Bond.”

      Apparently he was captured about two weeks ago, and the WH asked the NYTimes to hold the story for a few days, as they had acquired a treasure drove of electronic and documentary materials, and were busy breaking up operations both in Pakistan and in Yemen. As of the middle of last week apparently few people in the Taliban knew of the arrest. One report said several hundred names, E-mail addresses, phone numbers, etc, in Pakistan and Yemen.

      But according to the BBC, The Taliban have issued a press release saying that Baradar has not been captured. Tis a fairly normal tactic, but wonder what it means in this situation?

      • Sara says:

        “Apparently he was captured about two weeks ago, and the WH asked the NYTimes to hold the story for a few days, as they had acquired a treasure drove of electronic and documentary materials, and were busy breaking up operations both in Pakistan and in Yemen.”

        Aah apparently there were two captures. The one back in January was of an al-Qaeda member, an explosives expert being used to convey materials between NWFP in Pakistan to Yemen. The materials contained information on 300 Taliban and Al-Qaeda members, including phone numbers, pictures, and what not. The courier was captured in Oman, between Yemen and the Gulf. I found one report that the courier had been turned over to the Saudi’s as he was Saudi origin, but another had him returned to Pakistan. Anyhow a couple days after his capture in mid January, the various Jahidi websites had warnings to move location and change phone numbers.

        I suppose one can assume that among the 300 phone numbers they might have found Barader’s — just a guess.

        Oman is an interesting state — it is not as closely tied to the emerates as other Gulf State, but has very strong ties with the British. Oman controls the west side of the Gulf of Hormuz, and the British built and trained the Omani Airforce, and some of the huge air bases there are shared with the US. The Brits trained up the Omani Intelligence and Security Services. Low population, fairly modernized royal family (that spends much time in London), little or no gas or oil. Very little water thus low agricultural development. But it is on the courier route across Iran toward Yemen.

        So adding up a few odd things — Oman just might indeed turn over an al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula type to the Saudi’s — and since the Saudi Royal Prince who is Deputy dealing with al-Qaeda former captives was the target of an attempted assassination last August — one can see why a hand off to the Saudi’s might have happened. Of added interest, Hillary was in Saudi Arabia yesterday, overnighting at the King’s farm after a fancy dinner party consisting of Lobster and Lamb. Maybe they had something to celebrate?

        Frankly, I am entertaining the idea that Cheney is in a deep and dangerous funk because these days he doesn’t get early notification of Omani Captures, Karachi take down’s. and gets no invitations from the Saudi Royals to the Lobster and Lamb feasts.

        • Mary says:

          Spencer has a post and thread up on a somewhat different topic re: Baradar, but with additional info and spec (including mine of course *g*) in the comments.

          http://attackerman.firedoglake.com/2010/02/15/its-extremely-important-we-dont-torture-mullah-abdul-ghani-baradar/

          It might be a good idea to remember that we have released incorrect info about Baradar before:

          http://www.rferl.org/content/article/1078423.html

          and he has been a) reputed to have ties with ISI; b) supportive of peace talks; and c) very available to ISI to pick up any time they wanted over quite a period of time.

          He was even able to play the starring role in this Newsweek article

          http://www.newsweek.com/id/208637

          last year, at a time when, with all our surveillance of journos and overseas persons and our predator programs etc. it is hard to believe we wouldn’t have been able to take him out if we had wanted to.

          Who knows, but there’s a lot for spec, no matter what version(s) of truth(s) you think might stick if thrown against the wall.

          I don’t think the Newsweek article appeared in a vacuum and I don’t think it went into things like this:

          That’s raised another question: whether the Americans and the Afghan government of President Hamid Karzai might ultimately be able to strike a deal with Baradar. His influence among the insurgents—and with Mullah Omar—is unmatched, and he’s not as close-minded as many of the leaders in Quetta are. Back in 2004, according to Maulvi Arsala Rahmani, a former Taliban cabinet minister who now lives in Kabul, Baradar authorized a Taliban delegation that approached Karzai with a peace offer, even paying their travel expenses to Kabul. That outreach fizzled, but earlier this year another two senior Taliban operatives sent out separate peace feelers to Qayyum Karzai, the Afghan president’s older brother, apparently with Baradar’s approval, according to three ranking Taliban sources. They say the initiatives were quickly rescinded. Still, when NEWSWEEK spoke to the elder Karzai last week and asked him about the story, he did not deny that such contacts had taken place, saying only, “This is a very sensitive time, and a lot of things are going on.” Publicly, Baradar, who belongs to the same Pashtun tribe as Karzai, has scoffed at peace efforts, denouncing them as a ploy to split the insurgency. But that may simply reflect his feeling that the insurgents currently have the momentum.

          All fwiw – go your own roads on spec.

  8. orionATL says:

    just in case the point may have been missed,

    chief-of-staff emmanuel is lobbying his boss, the prez, from the distance of the
    media.

    hmmm

    why not walk next door?

    • bobschacht says:

      You make an interesting point. In terms of the way things work in Washington, your analysis suggests to me that Obama and Rahm may not be seeing eye to eye on this.

      Bob in AZ

      • Mary says:

        Seems like there has been a lot in the media of late as well re: calls for Obama to kick Rahm out as COS.

        Doug Wilder has called for it directly and in print, Gelb has called for it directly and in print, The Progressive has called for it and in print, Luce pretty much laid out that line etc. and puff pieces for Holder are beginning to appear – it sounds like some line drawing is being done. Lots of Emanuel’s targets have friends and when you couple that with the fact that Emanuel’s tactics aren’t showing any pay off for the president or the Democrats – those friends see vulnerabilities. I think Obama has to also factor in that as problematic as Emanuel has been to date, with all his failures and election season coming up, Rahm is going to be due up for some more publicity if and when things begin to move on the Blagojevich trial – is that really what Obama wants as another ball to juggle?

  9. orionATL says:

    teddy parttidge @14

    jeez, i haven’t heard that one before.

    if true, maybe closeted homosexual is what rahm has in common with graham and why the two of them hit it off.

    true or not in either case,

    the central question is whether the nation’s best interest is propelling c-o-s emmanuel’s or sen graham’s political activity.

    • Teddy Partridge says:

      You haven’t heard that before?

      Have you ever heard or seen Lindsay Graham, lifelong bachelor, speak?

  10. freepatriot says:

    it’s easy to understand

    what has habeas corpus done for the repuglitarded party lately ???

    it only helps hippies, tree huggers, and teh gays

    it’s hard to spell

    it sounds FRENCH

    and it’s a relic from “Old Europe” (what the hell, it sounds right)

    so you could see how the repuglitards had to kill habeas corpus

    can’t have all those homescoled kids being disadvantaged

    not to mention the high ranking repuglitards who could be discomforted if we kept habeas corpus around (explaing away crimes against humanity can be so time consuming)

    when logic fails, you must use another tool

    (I stole that from Frank Herbert, btw)

  11. orionATL says:

    maddog @22

    let me guess,

    he’s the — ranking taliban commander.

    reminds me of all those al-quaida seconds or thirds we kept on killing or capturing on iraq.

    but then we citizens learned:

    damn, how those guys seemed to be able to replicate!

    which in turn reminds me of our successes in kill-or-capture of

    viet cong leaders some years ago.

    we really were very good at reporting our successes.

  12. eCAHNomics says:

    It’s a race: a former JAG and a former constitutional law prof face off against who can violate the constitution most vilely.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      Sweet Jesus…

      And MadDog:

      but their whole “we be fighting terrorists” pushback on Cheney & Co.

      Well, all I can say is that I’m glad **someone** is pushing back at Cheney.

      Now, they need to let Holder do his job.
      At least no one has so far barged into any hospital rooms…

  13. tanbark says:

    Marcie, I have to ask: do you seriously think that Rahm is ass-smooching Lindsay Graham, on his own hook, without Obama’s agreeing?

      • tanbark says:

        Bmaz; thanks.

        Then why is Obama’s name mentioned once in her entire piece? and not in ANY way that would imply that he had anything to do with Rahm’s cutting deals with Graham?

        A lot of us are getting tired of the whole “It’s all Rahm’s doing.” bullshit theme. The people trying to protect Obama by pretending that Emmanuel is pulling this crap on his own hook, need to stop doing that and start holding the guy responsible who hired Rahm and who sees him every day.

        • bmaz says:

          I cannot speak for others, but here are my thoughts and rationales. First, while you are absolutely correct that the buck stops with Obama, it also seems pretty clear that he is listening to and being shaped by bad voices, and Rahm is front and center in that group. To the extent that he can be made a symbol for that deleterious effort and made unattractive for Obama, or removed from the equation, that is of great benefit. Secondly, while Obama obviously signs off on the general parameters for what Rahm does, Rahm also has a lot of tentacles out doing a lot of things that deserve to be exposed so that the public and the Administration are aware of them and they are on the table. Rahm can possibly removed; at this point, Obama cannot. You leverage your effort where you can. Lastly, it is not like there is not a pretty decent amount of dumping on Obama here; we are pretty good about calling them like we see them about his presidency.

          • JasonLeopold says:

            Excellent analysis, bmaz. Agree 100 percent. By the way, do any of you recall this WaPo column by Sally Quinn published early last month? She claimed that Rahm was going to run for Mayor of Chicago:

            Emanuel is said to have told people that the chief-of-staff role is an 18-month job and that he is considering a run for mayor of Chicago. And Rogers is a major social and political player in the Windy City.

            That seems unlikely but I am wondering whether someone at the WH leaked that info or planted the rumor.

  14. bobschacht says:

    All Obama’s talk about looking forward and not back, and not criminalizing policy differences, tells Cheney he’s free to create as much trouble and talk as freely as he wants, Obama won’t haul his ass into a war crimes trial. Fundamental mistake by Obama. He should loosen the chains on Holder a bit, especially since Cheney has openly admitted war crimes in public statements.

    The alternative is that ObamaRahma has some kind of direct deal with Cheney such that they *want* him ranting on and on about torture. I can’t quite figure out a justification for that, except if they really do want to continue extraordinary renditions, torture, black sites, etc. except maybe not on such a grandiose scale, and Cheney gives them cover to do so. But that really crimps my tin foil hat.

    Bob in AZ

  15. wigwam says:

    This needs to have Constitutional lawyers across the country screaming loudly.

    Scholars like say John Yoo and Barack Hussein Obama and Cass Sunstein.

  16. TruthHurts2 says:

    I’d like to interrupt the typical FDL full-frontal assault (on Lindsey Graham?) to point out that Sen Graham has more courage in his little finger, than Evan Bayh does in his entire body. We’re in a political climate where it’s: 1. Stupid for Graham to work with the WH on ANY issue. 2. Anger-inducing for Graham’s SC constituients to see him associated with this whitehouse. 3. Heart-burn inducing for ‘ol Mitch McConnell and EVERY GOP Senator who’s facing re-election. Think about how John McCain will have to DEAL with Graham when “obstruction” has been the “strategy” of the GOP Senators and McCain’s feeling the heat from the wing-nut crowd……I saw a video of Graham standing up to his “town hall” birther-constituents who slammed the guy for even THINKING about working with this President. What the guy’s suggesting here is changing the law. Since Congress “writes the laws”, I would suggest that this is anything besides “unconstitutional”. I’d rather see Congress debate the status quo rather than to continue to implement some covert strategy that has existed FOR DECADES (relating to these alledged “enemy combatants”)…..OK, back to bashing Lindsey Graham!

    • Teddy Partridge says:

      Lindsay Graham is a “bed-wetting” closeted “homosexual” despite his vaunted friendship with “Mitch” McConnell (another closet case) and Johnny “Crash” McCain and Joe “Connecticut for Lieberman” Lieberman.

      See? Quotation “marks” don’t make your comment any smarter-looking.

    • bmaz says:

      There is no “strategy that has existed for decades”; the Bush/Cheney, and now Obama, precepts since 9/11 for what has colloquially been termed the war on terror are gross bastardizations and extrapolations from buzzwords and old policies many of which have always been questionable and some of which were legally abhorred – for decades.

      Secondly, simply because Congress passes a law certainly does not make it Constitutional; laws are routinely set aside by Federal courts – ultimately the Supreme Court – for being unconstitutional. What your boy Graham specifically is demanding in his quid pro quo is that a law setting up and sanctioning a US program of legalized permanent “preventative detention” in which subjects are detained ad infinitum without due process and adjudication. Absent a formal declaration of war against a nation state (of which there is none) and given that American society, government and its courts are open and operating, and given that few of the intended permanent detainees are actually captured “on a battlefield”, this is a provision inherently antithetical to the US Constitution. In fact, it is hard to imagine a concept more violative of, and destructive to, the Constitution.

      Lastly, what the heck does Graham have to do with Bayh here? Is that just some kind of non-sequitur thrown in for kicks?

      If your handle is correct and the Truth Hurts, you are feeling no pain whatsoever.

    • temptingfate says:

      Since Congress “writes the laws”, I would suggest that this is anything besides “unconstitutional”.

      In the past, any number of laws have written by the various Congresses and signed by various Presidents have been found unconstitutional when taken the the Supreme Court. Amending the Constitution has not been done very often in recent times and requires a larger majority than expanding unemployment insurance.

  17. anwaya says:

    Uh, guys, I read about this place called the United States once. I read that the people there had a Constitution that put the law above people (so that tyrants couldn’t put themselves above the law), and applied the law to all people equally, so that the people would remember what the rule of law was about.

    I thought I’d nearly found this place, there were a bunch of history books which said it was somewhere in North America. So I went there. I’m still in the neighborhood. I can’t find it. Where is it? It was somewhere near here a couple of hundred years ago. Can anyone help me find out where it is, or where it went? If it’s disappeared, can it be made over again?

  18. chitowner says:

    Anything for bipartisanship – sell out your base, sell the government to Wall Street and, now, sell out more constitutional protections and American values. Would say their plan is unconstitutional, but with the current Supreme Court I’d be afraid to bet on it. These people are not just extreme ideologues, they are morally corrupt on so many levels it’s astounding.

  19. brantl says:

    Did anybody think that Graham would stop being the same dick he’s always been? Regardless of who he talked to? Why

  20. Leen says:

    So what if the Obama (Holder) administration stands firm on the civilian vs. miliatary trials. And they call out Graham on if you don’t switch the trial I’Ll stand in the way of closing Gitmo. Call him out on this twisted demand.

    Let him be the one standing in the way of closing Gitmo.

  21. Mauimom says:

    Y’know, Obama might as well have put up one of those illuminated sign boards in front of the White House, with the blinking message “for sale” and “yes, I’ll respond to your blackmail. How much do you want?’

    He’s now shown himself to be so weak that everyone’s approaching, with one hand out for their goodies, and a knife in the other.

  22. orionATL says:

    bob schact @77 and [email protected]

    the one thing valerie, michelle, obama’s rodent, and obama himself can not tolerate – or at least so i
    predict-

    is for any serious attention to be drawn to obama vis-a-vis ciicago/illinois politics.

    as weak as obama is mow, that would be fatal this fall.

    that’s because obama WAS imvolved, as were some of his advisers, in chicago snd illinois state politics in ways that probably were not criminal to patrick fitzgerald (though, imdubitably fully” “criminal ” to leona(?) in alabama),

    but would cast long, damaging, media-tinted shadows, on the president.

    on the other hand, fitzgerald’s notable sense of rules and fsir-play may mean that there will be NO blogovitch trial news from now until after november – in fact i think you can count on that.

  23. orionATL says:

    continuing with correction

    it’s not “leona”,

    it’s” leura”

    specifically, “leura canary”, a u.s. attorney for one of the federal districts in alabama.

    highly involved in the don siegelman frame-up by karl rove and republican u.s. sttorneys and judges in
    alabama. see scott horton’s weblog at harper’s magazine for details.

  24. orionATL says:

    keep in mind that rham is axelrod’s pal.

    if you were to ask me,

    and you haven ‘t,

    i ‘d say that both emmanuel and axelrod have short half-lives from here on out.

    both have given a deeply inexperienced

    and clearly extremely UNgifted politician, our prez,

    a lot to fret over.

  25. orionATL says:

    continuing with correction

    for “extremely UNgifted politician” substitute

    “extremely politically ungifted politician.”

    obama is a gifted individual,

    but he’s a colossal retard as a politician –

    he can’t seem to “feel” any issue.

    my explanation for this is that he has a very poor “feel” for american society.

  26. brantl says:

    Since when couldn’t they keep POWs until the end of hostilities, at the least? What bullshit is Graham trying to pull?