ACLU And NY Times Gentley Chide Obama For Detention Plans

Remember the time when the ACLUand NY Times would exoriate President Bush and all those around him for his detention of Islamic extremists policies? How times have changed

NEW YORK– The following can be attributed to Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, in response to President Obama’s national security speech today:

“We welcome President Obama’s stated commitment to the Constitution, the rule of law and the unequivocal rejection of torture. But unlike the president, we believe that continuing with the failed military commissions and creating a new system of indefinite detention without charge is inconsistent with the values that he expressed so eloquently at the National Archives today.”

You can almost hear Anthony titter and swoon as he calls Obama a naughty boy.

President Obama’s proposal for a new legal system in which terrorism suspects could be held in “prolonged detention” inside the United States without trial would be a departure from the way this country sees itself, as a place where people in the grip of the government either face criminal charges or walk free.

“You’re a bad boy, President Obama, and….oh, we could never stay mad at you. Come over and let us kiss your ring.”

Anyhow, the whole thrust of the ACLU and NY Times argument is that the terrorists at Gitmo should be treated not as people associated with a war, but as folks who have been picked up on public intoxication charges. Certainly, a 9/10 mentality, where the only method that may be used to fight Islamic terrorism is law enforcement. And only if the officers eat their veggies and wash behind their ears.

The question both of them rarely ask is “if these folks are so safe, then why is it that the only country really willing to take them is Yemen, which is just going to free them?”

Mr. Obama chose to call his proposal “prolonged detention,” which made it sound more reassuring than some of its more familiar names. In some countries, it is called “administrative detention,” a designation with a slightly totalitarian ring. Some of its proponents call it “indefinite detention,” which evokes the Bush administration’s position that Guantánamo detainees could be held until the end of the war on terror — perhaps for the rest of their lives — even if acquitted in war crimes trials.

A kindler, gentler name for the exact same policy, and the Grey Lady swoons like a sophmore asked to the high school home coming dance by star quarterback.

President Bush did mess up badly when he and his folks determined that the Geneva Conventions did not apply to the Gitmo vacationers. Had he applied the full meaning, which is that people found fighting without uniforms and for no country can be held as enemy combatants for the duration, it would have short circuited many of the left’s arguments. What’s done is done, though. Now the ball is in Obama’s court. And it is remarkably similar to the one Bush used.

PS: The Wall Street Journal is not swooning from unicorn gas and pixie dust.

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3 Responses to “ACLU And NY Times Gentley Chide Obama For Detention Plans”

  1. John Ryan says:

    No Teach it is not exactly the same policy, if it was we would not be seeing Cheney on TV every 10 minutes saying that Obama was putting us in danger of being attacked.
    Admittedly many of Bush’s policies did change especially in his second term when the Supreme Court was ruling his policies illegal 90% of the time.

  2. Keith says:

    The real answer to this is to treat them as POW’s. Not Guilty of crime per se BUT a clear threat to the safety of the country. Since they are not signatory to the Geneva conventions and our troops clearly are not afforded any type of humane treatment……They have no expectation of Geneva treatment. They may not even understand what it is. Why the courts and the ACLU saw a need to intervene is beyond me.

    Part of me suspects its about creating another revenue stream for lawyers. In which case I propose a modest program of embedding ACLU members with front line Army and marine units; lest a poor terrorist have his rights violated. This would accomplish much good; OJT for the military and some attrition amongst ambulance chasers. Due Process under fire might be a bit problematic but hey they expect fighting men to do it.

  3. Really, John? If it looks like Bush’s policy, and walks like Bush’s policy, it’s Bush’s policy.

    If that happened, keith, I suspect that the lawyers would be bored, because no one would actually join the military. That was a rather scary thought you propose.

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