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Obama Stalls On Guantanamo Accountability

The Obama Administration announced today that it would delay two Justice Department reports on the government’s unconstitutional system of imprisonment without trial. One report will be delayed for two months. Another report will be delayed for half a year.

jcliffordWhy is the Obama Administration delaying these reports? Justice Department lawyers say that it’s because writing the reports is “hard”. They say that the legal issues involved are “complicated”. I say that’s a load of bull.

The legal issues involved are not complicated. There’s no constitutional authority for the President to suspend habeas corpus, as George W. Bush did, and Barack Obama continues to do, unless there’s an invasion of the United States. Take a look around you. There is no invasion of the United States going on. The Constitution guarantees a right to a fair trial in a timely fashion, in front of a jury of one’s peers. What’s complicated about that? The Constitution establishes international treaties like the Geneva Conventions with the force of law upon the U.S. government. So, what’s hard about applying the Geneva Conventions to U.S. military prisons?

What makes it hard for the Obama White House to release these reports right now, when it had promised to, is that Obama White House officials are a bunch of wimps who are afraid of the political consequences of doing their duty. What makes it complicated to release these reports now is that President Obama is failing to get his health care legislation passed, and so he’s hoping that he can release these reports after the health care battle is over, and thus avoid stirring up the hornets nest of right wing Democrats in Congress who make up ridiculous stories about how terrorists will go wandering through their rural districts if the extralegal prisons at Guantanamo and Bagram are closed.

Following the Constitution isn’t hard and complicated. Violating the Constitution, and then lying about it, and then pretending that you’re not lying about it, and then acting like you’re investigating the thing that you’re pretending that you’re not lying about, and then establishing a timeline for a report on the thing that you’re acting like you’re investigating but pretending that you’re not lying about – that’s hard and complicated.

President Obama, stop acting like George W. Bush. Only a true idiot can pull off that act. You’re smarter than this.

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