What about Indefinite Detention in Afghanistan?

I made my two most critical points about Obama’s Executive Order on indefinite detention in my snarky post yesterday. First, even assuming the idea of institutionalizing indefinite detention weren’t bad on its face, Obama’s EO doesn’t provide any standards of review for the kind of people who should be indefinitely detained. The EO’s standard is, “if it is necessary to protect against a significant threat to the security of the United States.”

Equally troubling is that Obama chose to do this via EO. As I have pointed out, the Executive Branch maintains it can change the content of EOs without changing the actual text of them. And on something already as troubling as the institutionalization of indefinite detention, this addition wiggle room is just appalling.

All that said, I want to raise one question, both for the supporters of this policy and for those using this Gitmo 2.0 roll-out to discuss whether Obama, or Congress, deserves the blame for the fact that we haven’t closed Gitmo.

Why doesn’t this policy apply to detainees in Bagram and elsewhere? After all, we’ve got people who are just as indefinitely detained in Bagram right now as we’ve got here (the government might make the argument that we–the US–would lose custody when Afghanistan takes over the prison, but there are a slew of reasons to doubt this, not least that we still have formal custody of some Iraqis). So if this new indefinite detention system is such great humanitarian shakes, why not roll it out everywhere we’ve instituted indefinite detention?

Daphne Eviatar recent observed some Detainee Review Boards in Afghanistan. She emphasizes that Congress has not put the same legal limits on freeing detainees as it has on Gitmo. Yet still, even those the Americans believe are innocent are not freed.

The reluctance to release these men may have something to do with the parallel holdup at Guantanamo Bay, where almost 90 prisoners have been approved for transfer or release but remain stuck in the U.S. prison there.

[snip]

Congress just made returning Guantanamo prisoners even more difficult by blocking their transfer unless the Defense secretary and secretary of State will certify that the receiving country will prevent the detainee from getting involved in any future anti-U.S. activities.

But there’s no legal bar on returning home innocent men, like Hamidullah Kahn, who’ve been recommended for release from Bagram. Yet for some reason, the U.S. government isn’t doing it.

Officials in both the Defense and State Departments I spoke to say they’re aware of the problem but it’s out of their hands. When I was at the Parwan Justice Center at Bagram earlier this week watching Detainee Review Board hearings, one soldier complained about how frustrating it is to be unable to tell innocent prisoners when they’ll be going home, or what’s causing the holdup. The problem, according to the U.S. officials I spoke to in Afghanistan, is somewhere in Washington.

And with the exception of frequency (Detainee Review Boards are supposed to take place every 6 months; Periodic Review Boards take place every 3 years (with reviews of cases, but not hearings, every 6 months), there are reasons the PRBs are better than the DRBs and the Administrative Review Boards of Bush.

The detainee will receive an unclassified summary of the “factors and information” that will be offered to the PRB.  The detainee will always get a “personal representative” (not necessarily a lawyer) to assist, and even more notably will have assistance of private counsel if he wishes (not at government expense).  To the extent that the private counsel has appropriate clearances, the private counsel can have access to the classified portions of the record, though he or she cannot then share that information with the detainee.  In that sense, the PRB is not fully adversarial but is far more adversarial than was the ARB process.  In special circumstances, the government can supply the personal rep/private attorney with a substitute/summary of highly-sensitive classified information.

[snip]

Who serves on the PRB? Another major break with the ARB system, which involved only military officers.  The PRB consists of “senior officials” designated for this task from State, Defense, Justice, Homeland Security, ODNI, and CJCS.  This is a major change from the ARB process, as it converts an entirely military review system into an interagency process (shades of the Guantanamo review task force process).  Equally significant, the PRB must make unanimous decisions.  Should any one member disagree, the matter goes to a “review committee” consisting of SecState, SecDef, the AG, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the DNI, and the CJCS–i.e., the Principals Committee.

The Administration is congratulating itself for the prettier face they just put on indefinite detention. But they only did it where their forever jails attract the most attention, in Gitmo. If these newfangled PRBs are such a great thing, shouldn’t they be rolled out everywhere we’ve got forever detainees squirreled away because “it is necessary to protect against a significant threat to the security of the United States”?

It just seems like, if there is a purpose at all for this newfangled indefinite detention, then that purpose ought to apply across the board. But to the extent this EO applies only to a subset of those detainees we’re indefinitely detaining, then it seems to be just an attempt to pretend Obama hasn’t given up his plans to close Gitmo, “action” he can point to while blaming Congress for the delay, even while the Obama Administration does nothing about those detainees in Afghanistan that they can free without Congressional strictures.

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  1. Mary says:

    I hope this doesn’t seem to be too much of a non sequitor, but I wonder a lot if something else (in addition to Kris leaving which you hit on) is partly at play in Obama’s approach. He’s been relying on assassinations and his open portal of rendition to torture/disappearance in other countries as his tools (such a great guy).

    Now you have several countries registering protests about US surveillance of their citizens on their soil (a US that has shipped out assassination teams as part of its embassy staff in numerous countries) and the Davis debacle which has highlighted the issue so US killers wandering around with impunity in foreign countries. Next you have favorite rendition locations – Egypt & Jordan (there were already some problems with Syria, but it as well) and even last ditch destination for Kappes personal selections – Libya – beginning to be less and less optimal.

    And a huge chunk of the detainees (many likely innocent since they were fingered by the crazy guy that the DOJ says no one should rely upon in a court but his word is good enough for forever torture detention) are from Yemen. And boy are there a boatload of issues with Yemen right now. Put the couples on all that AND the fact that they’ve already gone through the least tortured group of innocents held and exhausted their international resources just placing them, even agreeing to stand down major prosecutions to get that small amount of cooperation.

    So with the uprisings in Egypt and Libya, instability in other torture-partner rendition destinations, Yemen teetering and the debacles with assassinations and US operations, he’s running out of ways to get guys out of GITMO and hide what was done. That leaves him with being a good man and coming clean – and we’ve seen that isn’t an Obama option – or, in essence, locking away the evidence in a safe and waiting until no one is looking until completing the destruction of the human evidence. Finding a couple of truly bad guys and having kangaroo court trials that praise and excuse and embrace torture as integral part of the US military process are going to be the layer of frosting he puts on top. An execution or two to mollify the Republicans will be the cherries, even though he knows with evey execution, the Republicans still can’t express pleasure with Obama so they’ll just press for more, and quicker, killing.

  2. WilliamOckham says:

    To the extent that the people we are holding in Afghanistan are Afghanis that we captured in Afghanistan, we are on less shaky ethical and moral ground holding them as long as we’re still involved in combat there.

    • emptywheel says:

      Yeah, I’m having that argument with Adam Serwer right now on Twitter. That’s why I linked to the Eviatar piece; some of the people we seem to be indefinitely detaining in Bagram were not combatants.In fact, some of them are not even Afghans (we have denied them habeas, so we’re now treating as we used to do Gitmo).

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Exactly. Many were captured elsewhere and rendered to US-controlled Afghanistan prisons because Gitmo was too politically hot to accept them without critical public inquiry. It would seem unlikely that very many were “combatants” as normally defined or were captured on any recognizable war zone while engaging in action against US forces. They’re just political prisoners who might harbor resentment and who may have taken or thought about taking violent action against someone, not necessarily the US, and we were kind enough to pick them up.

        That modus operandi is actually consistent with the text of Obama’s EO than that such prisons are holding legitimately captured POWs.

        It begs the question about why we feel empowered to take such actions across the globe in defense of some nebulous notion of “security”, a notion that elides identifying whose security and at what financial, material, political, social and legal cost. I doubt any cost-benefit analysis, even one as lop sided as the banksters’ stress tests, would demonstrate the efficacy of such programs.

    • thatvisionthing says:

      Because we are holding Afghanis in Afghanistan, does that mean the enemy is “Afghanistan,” as in the nation of, as in the nation headed by our stooge Karzai? Did Congress declare that, and when will it recognize that “Afghanistan” is US? Because I’m still stuck on the Onion — sorry, but I’m going to post it again, because it is still the best description of our sorry national humiliation:

      U.S. Vows To Defeat Whoever It Is We’re At War With
      September 26, 2001 | ISSUE 37•34

      WASHINGTON, DC—In a televised address to the American people Tuesday, a determined President Bush vowed that the U.S. would defeat “whoever exactly it is we’re at war with here.”

      “America’s enemy, be it Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, the Taliban, a multinational coalition of terrorist organizations, any of a rogue’s gallery of violent Islamic fringe groups, or an entirely different, non-Islamic aggressor we’ve never even heard of… be warned,” Bush said during an 11-minute speech from the Oval Office. “The United States is preparing to strike, directly and decisively, against you, whoever you are, just as soon as we have a rough idea of your identity and a reasonably decent estimate as to where your base is located.”

      Added Bush: “That is, assuming you have a base.”

      Bush is acting with the full support of Congress, which on Sept. 14 authorized him to use any necessary force against the undetermined attackers.

      Congress, will you PLEASE WAKE UP?

      Speaking of Congress, David Swanson has a totally excellent post up on Michael Moore now, Manchurian Senators (on Sens. Levin and Reed’s op-ed in the Washington Post saying no, we’re not brainwashed by military psyops, and we need to surge in Afghanistan). Writes Swanson:

      The headline was “The Surge Afghanistan Still Needs.” Surge is not code for food or peace or environmental restoration or a moment’s relief from the attentions of the world’s oil, gas, and power addicts. Surge, in ignorant-American-newspaper-readerspeak is a term denoting the comical pretense that a criminal and genocidal invasion and occupation can be redeemed by escalating it. The term was coined in reference to Iraq, that hell on earth where pro-democracy demonstrators are now being murdered by the government that 20 years of war and sanctions built, even as that government demands reparations payments for recent US destruction.

      Whenever a hopeless war drags on for year after year, with victory undefined and unimaginable, there is always an answer to the lack of progress, and that answer is always “send more troops.” When violence goes down, more troops are needed to build on the success. When violence goes up, more troops are needed to clamp down.

      Victory is undefined and unimaginable because we are in an absurd war with anyone who shoots back at us. And that is why the Onion can provide such a clear depiction of who and where the enemy is — at link, scroll down to the blue and gold map “Finding the Enemy” just under this paragraph:

      “Christ,” McCain continued, “what if the terrorists’ base of operation turns out to be Detroit? Would we declare war on the state of Michigan? I suppose we’d have to.”

      I do not know how you win a lie. I do not know how you win a self-imposed national humiliation. But injustice and torturing the Constitution and the military ain’t it. And I think the first step is to WAKE UP. Congress! You! I’m talking to YOU! Check and balance on Pennsylvania Avenue!

      • thatvisionthing says:

        And I do not know how you win a war crime. Killing the messenger ain’t it, and escalating injustice ain’t it.

  3. Jeff Kaye says:

    Thanks for bringing up the Bagram issue.

    …the private counsel can have access to the classified portions of the record, though he or she cannot then share that information with the detainee. In that sense, the PRB is not fully adversarial but is far more adversarial than was the ARB process.

    Daphne, come on. I admire you and all your work, but if you’re reading this, this is all BS. Both PRB and ARB processes are ridiculous, and to get into the game of comparing them, looking for some kind of “better” process, is just absurd. But this was the position of Human Rights Watch, who condemns the military commissions, but see the new “review” as “an additional layer of review not previously available”. (Quote from HRW press release)

    Glenn is writing now on the EO as well, and picks up on Rep. King’s happy tittering over the new EO bauble (emphasis in original):

    The anti-Muslim McCarthyite Rep. Peter King (R-NY) issued a statement this morning, as quoted by The Post, which lavished Obama with praise: “I commend the Obama Administration for issuing this Executive Order. 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.” That perfectly captures the legacy of Barack Obama and civil liberties.

    The WashPost article on this, by Peter Finn and Anne Kornblut, too, is full of shit.

    President Obama signed an executive order Monday that will create a formal system of indefinite detention for those held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who continue to pose a significant threat to national security.

    I’ve bolded the phrase above, because it assumes the line of the administration, and presents it as truth, though none of it has been proven in a court of law. Even more, it ignores the numerous detainees who have been cleared on habeas, but are still not released (the Yemenis, as pointed out, for instance).

    Administration officials said the president is still committed to closing the prison, although he made no mention of that goal in a short statement Monday.

    Why give these administration officials room to spin something that is the obvious opposite of the Obama administration position? He made no mention because he has no intention of closing Gitmo, get it? He’s setting up a new version of the CRSBs of the Bush years, with bogus oversight by high defense department and intelligence officials.

    Yes, bell, rogue nation, indeed.

    • prostratedragon says:

      Both PRB and ARB processes are ridiculous, and to get into the game of comparing them, looking for some kind of “better” process, is just absurd.

      Oh thank you, sir! I thought for a moment I was losing the ability to ratiocinate. No, neither completely fixes anything about the other, while each has its own unique set of damning flaws.

      I should start using the handle NotNecessarilyaLawyer.

  4. PeasantParty says:

    “I have pointed out, the Executive Branch maintains it can change the content of EOs without changing the actual text of them.”

    Now how exactly would that be done? Is that where we get down to exactly what you mean by “its” or another unknown known?

    I blame CONGRESS! Although Obama is the CnC of the military, our majority of Dems in congress the past two years failed miserably in all areas that swept them into office. If the Dems had pushed and pushed hard for the reasons that they were elected, most of the problems we are dealing with today would have been written in the history books. We could then better address the REAL issues that America needs to focus on.

    Instead, all we have are more of the same. Still involved in two wars, still torturing both off shore and on shore, still protecting banking criminals, still avoiding the economic growth and strength of this country.

    • spanishinquisition says:

      Although Obama is the CnC of the military, our majority of Dems in congress the past two years failed miserably in all areas that swept them into office. If the Dems had pushed and pushed hard for the reasons that they were elected, most of the problems we are dealing with today would have been written in the history books. We could then better address the REAL issues that America needs to focus on.

      Obama has an even stronger weapon that he didn’t use – he could have used the veto pen, but didn’t. Obama signed all this into law, he owns it.

  5. PeasantParty says:

    Without a true declaration of war from Congress against a true and known country, there is no legal standing to hold prisoners. The US cannot just choose to drop into a soverign nation and detain their citizens indefinitely. Yeah, I know we are. It’s wrong, it is against treaties, and all ethics. This so-called reason of “War on Terror” is not a reasonable or responsible way of putting an end to terror.

    The entire business we have been dealing with since 9-11 is nothing more than a cover to gain access to another country and grab their resources.

  6. Stephen says:

    Raw Story: Prisoners making parts for Patriot missiles. That should get the unemployment numbers down.

    • lysias says:

      I guess the authorities must not be that interested in seeing to it that the Patriot missiles actually work.

  7. bmaz says:

    Okay, sorry about this, but I must interrupt the proceedings for a quick personal shameless plug. My sister in law, who is a child psychology professor at a significant university, just published her first fictional short story, “In Both, Wisdom” at a professional collective site. She is very nice, it is a touching story, and she could use some hits. If you are so inclined, please stop over and take a look. Thank you!

  8. bigchin says:

    OBAMA IS A TOTAL FRAUD.

    THE DEMOCRATS ARE UNSUPPORTABLE.

    IF YOU ARE YOUNG YOU SHOULD LEAVE THE USA FOREVER.

    If you’re not, you should leave too, however and wherever you can do it.

    The USA is a crap, rogue nation and it will not get better.

    Your taxes support criminals.

    LEAVE THE USA.

  9. CTuttle says:

    Isn’t it sad that our first tangible document asserting our Basic Human Rights, the Magna Carta, was based on a ‘rule of law’ and not any arbitrary and capricious detentions by a single tyrant…! Fancy that…! *gah*

    • ackack says:

      An appropriate sequel for the violation of international law that was the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Going back to the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648.

  10. lsls says:

    Obama’s behavior since becoming President Borat has been so bizarre. I’m now wondering if somebody has something really big on him. Is a puzzlement.

  11. Frank33 says:

    Amazing, but not in a good way. Again, why Kangaroo Courts? This is very simple. The neo-cons created a phony terror threat from the Anti-Soviet Jihadist army. There was no “Al Qaeda” and so the “intelligence community” picked up any warm bodies, and made them terrorists. Torture was used to extract false confessions, and create the Al Qaeda myth.

    Obama has to maintain the myth, in order to maintain his Police State. Expect more indefinite detention, torture, mercenaries and assassins. Obama should return the Nobel Peace Prize, because Obama is psychopathic thug.

  12. ottogrendel says:

    “Obama’s EO doesn’t provide any standards of review for the kind of people who should be indefinitely detained.” Exactly the point.

    “Equally troubling is that Obama chose to do this via EO. As I have pointed out, the Executive Branch maintains it can change the content of EOs without changing the actual text of them.”
    In a Fascist, crisis state of permanent exception, the executive is the Law while at the same time existing outside of it. It is fitting and telling within such a political system that the US policy on indefinite detention should be delivered via Executive Order.

    By making the executive the sole arbiter of the law and its execution, and by creating a broad enough definition for who may be considered an enemy of the state, one creates the conditions for authoritarian control required of a Fascist system.

    Regarding domestic facilities for the indefinite detention of “enemies of the state.” the US already has working prototypes in the form of detention facilities for “Other Than Mexican” (OTMs) immigrants. If FDL readers have not seen one of these places with their own eyes already, I highly recommend doing so. Raymondville, TX is a good example.

  13. ottogrendel says:

    “Yet still, even those the Americans believe are innocent are not freed.”

    I suspect such is the case because freeing innocents undermines the authority upon which a Fascist system is built. It suggests that executive/state authority erred, and this exposure compromises what should be unquestioned authority—one of the reasons why in the US Fascism and Christian fundamentalism are so often compatible. On the other hand, refusing to admit or correct error also betrays an essential insecurity in the system. States that are confident and strong can suffer and redress their own mistakes. Lastly, what might be concluded, especially from the quote from Eviatar, is that the US is good at control, punishment and detention but not so good when it comes to freedom.

  14. dakoda says:

    Power Of Nightmares”. (Fear) a BBC Documentary.

    The first part of the 6 part series explains the origins of Islamism and the U.S. NeoConservatism and how they evolved to the present.

    Interesting history of the last 30 years, worth a watch for anyone who wants to understand how America/England got this way.

    part 1 of 6 done by BBC (29 mins.)

  15. donbacon says:

    In a country truly governed under the law a Supreme Court finding would be useful for something other than selecting a president.

    In Boumediene v. Bush, 553 U.S. 723 (2008) the US Supreme Court held that prisoners held outside the USA in Gitmo had a right to habeas corpus under the United States Constitution and that the MCA was an unconstitutional suspension of that right.

    Obama has failed to follow the law, neither in Gitmo nor in the legally similar Bagram, and probably not in places we’ve never even considered.

    • bmaz says:

      Uh, there IS habeas access through the DC District. What part of Boumediene is it specifically that you claim “Obama has failed to follow the law”. There are many areas of a wide range of law with which I could agree with this statement, but certainly not the portion of Boumediene you cited.

      • donbacon says:

        You’re wrong, again.

        Habeas Hell: How The Great Writ Was Gutted At Guantanamo
        By Andy Worthington
        The Public Record
        Feb 25th, 2011

        As the dreams of habeas as a remedy for any of the Guantánamo prisoners now lie in ruins, this is a valid and important question, but its scope should be larger. Why, for example, is no one in the mainstream media concerned by these decisions that are “indefensible as a matter of law and logic,” and why is the Justice Department, under Attorney General Eric Holder, also unconcerned?

        The blunt truth, sadly, is that, throughout Obama’s Presidency, Eric Holder has failed to provide any advice or direction to the lawyers working on the Guantánamo habeas cases, allowing them to behave as though it was business as usual with Bush still in power. Ridiculous cases were aggressively pursued by government lawyers in the District Court in 2009, leading to several high-profile humiliations — in, for example, the cases of Mohammed El-Gharani, Alla Ali Bin Ali Ahmed, Abdul Rahim al-Ginco, Mohamed Jawad and Fouad al-Rabiah.

        In the last year, as the Circuit Court’s most extreme judges have been pursuing their poisonous agenda, the Justice Department has shown no willingness to fight back (except on the point about the constraints of the international laws of war in Al-Bihani), and, in fact, seems to be delighted to have discovered that the Circuit Court will grant every government appeal that comes its way.

        What makes this even more worrying is the perception that the Justice Department is not even necessarily appealing successful petitions on the basis of their merits, but is pursuing them with a political aim. Since last January, when President Obama announced a moratorium on releasing any Yemenis from Guantánamo — in response to the hysteria that greeted the news that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the failed Christmas 2009 plane bomber, had been recruited in Yemen — every successful habeas petition by a Yemeni (with the exception of Mohammed Hassan Odaini, a student whose clearly mistaken detention was picked up by the mainstream media) has been appealed.

        That this is still happening now — and happening under President Obama and Eric Holder — ought to be a cause for alarm, and a wake-up call for the international community to redirect its attention to Guantánamo, if, as it appears, the United States itself has abandoned all notions of fariness and justice when it comes to the closure of the prison.

        http://pubrecord.org/law/8956/habeas-hell-great-gutted-guantanamo/

        • PJEvans says:

          That this is still happening now — and happening under President Obama and Eric Holder — ought to be a cause for alarm, and a wake-up call for the international community to redirect its attention to Guantánamo, if since , as it appears, the United States itself has abandoned all notions of fariness and justice when it comes to the closure of the prison.

          FTFY.

        • bmaz says:

          I love Andy Worthington’s work, and consider him a friend. While there may be some generalized moral argument in this passage, from a strict legal perspective, it is, well, non-existent. In fact there is no legal argument contained in that passage, there was certainly nothing in your original paragraph to support your statement. Honestly, you just do not have a clue as to what you are talking about.

          • Jeff Kaye says:

            Here’s my question, bmaz.

            Since the Obama administration believes it can hold someone indefinitely despite a successful habeas ruling, what’s the good of even a successful habeas petition anyway, except as fodder for human rights groups (legitimate) complaints?

  16. ondelette says:

    With apologies to harpie (who’s seen this), I’m going to ask here, since there wasn’t a response on the earlier thread about the executive order, what do people make of Hillary Clinton’s simultaneous announcement that the administration would seek the ratification of Additional Protocol II, and that the U.S. would consider itself bound in all international conflicts, by Article 75 of AP1?

    • powwow says:

      Hi, ondelette – Some gremlin didn’t want me to answer you (I’ve been trying to post this comment for an hour or so, through strange browser issues).

      I’m only now getting back to Glenn’s letter thread since my comment earlier today, and so saw your question to me there on this subject. I can’t say that I have anything to add, since I’m ignoring, to the best of my ability, the administration’s credibility-free pronouncements on this subject for the moment. But beyond your thoughts partly expressed here, and coram nobis’s helpful responses in that thread, you might glean something from this post (whose author’s currying-favor-with-the-powerful opinions I generally ignore), or from the comment to it (by someone I generally don’t ignore). There’s also this much longer post by the same author (he links there to the John Bellinger post on the issue that Marcy notes @ 35), which has more comments appended to it.

      • ondelette says:

        The comment I wrote that you linked is somewhat what I think is behind it. I do agree with Pearlstein there isn’t too much in this executive order that is a huge jump in some direction with respect to new reviews or rights, it’s very jumbled and confusing. They keep calling the subject prisoners “law of war detention” prisoners. They say they have review privileges and can be prosecuted, which makes them civilians being held for security reasons. The new reviews are a layer on top of the old reviews, and some prisoners seem to have many layers of rights and many layers of possible prosecutions possible.

        But then they specify that State will be involved in the reviews, and then they have State issue two new things, a recommendation for ratification (which I think is great, can’t wait, hope there are more to follow), and what your second link calls, correctly, an opinio juris on Article 75, meaning that we will now regard it and will also hold others to it as customary international humanitarian law, which is binding whether or not anyone is a signatory. I’m not sure about the language of specifying “international armed conflict” being analyzed. That was its scope in the original, since that is the scope of AP1. Its actual use is that it is considered “fundamental guarantees” and often interpreted as the legal guarantees backing common Article 3, which has totally different scope.

        As I said in the linked post, I think the involvement of State is a power play, since the excuse for some of the failure to follow through on habeas and other use of the court system by Congress and by the courts is that only the State department can decide whether to admit someone into the country. It takes power from Congress and from the D.C. Circuit, both of which are currently thumbing their noses at Boumediene. Whether or not the Administration will use it well is anybody’s guess. My guess is it will be a mixed bag.

        Before anyone thinks that any of that is an endorsement of what the executive order does, it isn’t, they should go to Congress and demand that the all obstacles be removed and then dismantle the prisons. But some parts of what they have done may actually get some prisoners into the country to real trials and if we get a ratification of AP2 that will be a good thing.

  17. donbacon says:

    George W. Bush knew who the enemy was:
    from TIME, 2007:

    The president, who has been using the phrase [global war against terror] since at least June 2002, drew laughter in 2004 when he told a convention of UNITY: Journalists of Color Inc.: “We actually misnamed the war on terror. It ought to be: ‘the struggle against ideological extremists who do not believe in free societies who happen to use terror as a weapon to try to shake the conscience of the free world.’ “

    http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1616724,00.html

  18. PJEvans says:

    I’m thinking that this is still an appropriate message, and I want my vote back with interest, since Mr O seems to think that it authorized him to do whatever he pleases.