Sunday, May 03, 2009

"Oceana Was Always At War With Eurasia" of the Day

From the front page of the May 2nd New York Times:
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.

It is not clear how many detainees are likely to be prosecuted, but officials said Friday that some would be in federal courts.

Officials said the first public moves could come as soon as next week, perhaps in filings to military judges at the United States naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, outlining an administration plan to amend the Bush administration’s system to provide more legal protections for terrorism suspects.

Continuing the military commissions in any form would probably prompt sharp criticism from human rights groups as well as some of Mr. Obama’s political allies because the troubled system became an emblem of the effort to use Guantánamo to avoid the American legal system.

Officials who work on the Guantánamo issue say administration lawyers have become concerned that they would face significant obstacles to trying some terrorism suspects in federal courts. Judges might make it difficult to prosecute detainees who were subjected to brutal treatment or for prosecutors to use hearsay evidence gathered by intelligence agencies.

Obama administration officials -- and Mr. Obama himself -- have said in the past that they were not ruling out prosecutions in the military commission system. But senior officials have emphasized that they prefer to prosecute terrorism suspects in existing American courts. When President Obama suspended Guantánamo cases after his inauguration on Jan. 20, many participants said the military commission system appeared dead.

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."
For good reasons, though the ACLU will freak. And, as Ed Morrissey says:
Hmm. Maybe they should have looked at it a little more before running for President on the promise of ending the only effective manner of trying terrorists captured in foreign countries. Many of us looked at it in much more detail, including Congress. Maybe Barack Obama wasn’t familiar with that, but that was the job he supposedly held before this one -- the one where he postured for the Left while his colleagues in both parties worked to fashion a practical system of military tribunals to make sure that we locked up terrorists without damaging national security.

But, hey, actual governing is hard -- harder than voting present, and certainly harder than casting politically-expedient votes when you know it won’t affect the outcome.

We’re waiting for our apologies.
(via Jules Crittenden, who reports "Cheerios flying at the computer screen and the milk coming out my nose")

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