Obama v. McCain on Military Tribunals

As this TalkLeft post explains, Salim Hamdan did not receive a fair trial before the military tribunal he faced at Guantanamo.

The judge allowed secret testimony and hearsay evidence. Hamdan was not judged by a jury of his peers and he received no Miranda warning about his rights. Hamdan's attorneys said interrogations at the center of the government's case were tainted by coercive tactics, including sleep deprivation and solitary confinement.

John McCain applauded the process, claiming it "demonstrated that military commissions can effectively bring very dangerous terrorists to justice." That's not surprising, given McCain's support for the obnoxious law that created the military tribunals.

Barack Obama, on the other hand, recognized that the struggle to bring Hamdan to trial "underscores the dangerous flaws in the administration's legal framework." Obama rejects McCain's willingness to detain people for years before giving them an unfair hearing, and reminds us that the path to justice is enshrined in our Constitution: [more...]

"It's time to better protect the American people and our values by bringing swift and sure justice to terrorists through our courts and our Uniform Code of Military Justice." ...

Obama supports shutting down the Guantanamo prison and says U.S. civilian courts and the traditional military courts-martial system can handle detainee trials.

If American constitutional values are important to you, the difference between Obama and McCain is clear.

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    Your (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Aug 06, 2008 at 08:18:03 PM EST
    argument might have more merit if he didn't have such a problem with the fourth amendment. I'm just a lay person when it comes to many constitutional issues but it seems to me that both of these jokers don't have much respect for the document.

    Whenever I read (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by weltec2 on Wed Aug 06, 2008 at 08:23:33 PM EST
    something like this it just makes me grieve for John McCain. There was a time when he was against this kind of thing. Bush and Cheney are criminals but John has just lost it. He really should retire.

    Absolutely (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by CST on Thu Aug 07, 2008 at 09:34:06 AM EST
    For me the end came when he voted against a bill banning torture.  I couldn't believe it.  That was when I knew he was no longer the same man I thought he was.  He had officially sold out to the right-wing machine.

    Excellent post, TChris (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Aug 06, 2008 at 08:23:53 PM EST
    It's one of those areas where there is a clear difference between the candidates and McCain's position is a threat to constitutional rights. Today it's the detainees, tomorrow it could be any one of us.

    amendments? (none / 0) (#13)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Aug 06, 2008 at 11:10:13 PM EST
    Talk is cheap.  Obama proved that by voting to replace the 4th amendment with the White House FISA amendments.

    Oh great (5.00 / 4) (#7)
    by Steve M on Wed Aug 06, 2008 at 08:24:57 PM EST
    Thank goodness we brought that dangerous driver to justice!

    Unfortunately, due to secret evidence, the world may never know if Hamdan's tires were properly inflated.

    Honestly Steve...if I had a mouthful of (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by PssttCmere08 on Wed Aug 06, 2008 at 08:28:40 PM EST
    my drink, it would have been all over the monitor!!

    Good one...


    Honestly, that... (none / 0) (#10)
    by weltec2 on Wed Aug 06, 2008 at 08:32:09 PM EST
    says it all.

    How 'bout an alternative future for Bush? (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by wurman on Wed Aug 06, 2008 at 10:25:33 PM EST
    Let's say Sen. Obama becomes prez.  Prognosticate that he decides to have Bush xliii, Buckshot, & Dangerous Don renditioned to Schipol Airport, Netherlands, & turned over to The International Criminal Court at The Hague.

    Fantasize for a moment that the court decides to take action against this gruesome 3some & convenes a genuine international (ever notice what's lacking at Gitmo???) war crimes tribunal--sort of like Nuremburg, kind of, maybe, you know, legit & with credentials, etc.

    Do you suppose at some point that tribunal would contact the US prez & request that the drivers of the limos for the 3some should be renditioned?

    Nah.  Didn't think so.


    This really is very confusing....trying to figure (none / 0) (#1)
    by PssttCmere08 on Wed Aug 06, 2008 at 08:11:00 PM EST
    out what is right and what is wrong.  

    more confusion to come (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by dead dancer on Wed Aug 06, 2008 at 08:18:47 PM EST
    and it will only become more confusing when in a few days Barack Obama applauds the process and McCain recognizes that the struggle to bring Hamdan to trial "underscores the dangerous flaws in the administration's legal framework."

    Paris! What is your take?


    Dalton...you are spot on....reading papers (none / 0) (#9)
    by PssttCmere08 on Wed Aug 06, 2008 at 08:30:24 PM EST
    from outside the U.S. gives you a broader perspective and many times involves alot more information.  My political sparring partner is the one that turned me onto reading them; and I am grateful.  

    WSWS on Obama and conviction of Hamdan (none / 0) (#14)
    by Andreas on Thu Aug 07, 2008 at 05:45:47 AM EST
    Both the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates hailed the conviction of Hamdan, while bemoaning the long delay in bringing him to trial. Particularly noteworthy was the fervent embrace of the drumhead proceeding by Democratic candidate Barack Obama. The former instructor in constitutional law at the University of Chicago said nothing about the gross perversion of democratic rights and due process at Guantánamo.

    In a statement characterized by prostration before the military and full acceptance of the Bush administration's bogus "war on terror," Obama declared: "I commend the military officers who presided over this trial and served on the hearing panel under difficult and unprecedented circumstances. They and all our Armed Forces continue to serve this country with valor in the fight against terrorism."

    Obama criticized the Bush administration, not for its gross violation of the democratic and human rights of Hamdan and other Guantánamo prisoners, but for "dangerous flaws in the administration's legal framework" that led to lengthy legal challenges.

    "It's time to better protect the American people and our values by bringing swift and sure justice to terrorists through our courts and our Uniform Code of Military Justice," Obama said. "And while it is important to convict anyone who provides material support for terrorism, it is long past time to capture or kill Osama bin Laden and the terrorists who murdered nearly 3,000 Americans."

    In this way, Obama sought to demonstrate yet again to the US ruling elite that he will be just as ruthless as Bush or McCain in the use of violence and repression to defend the interests of American imperialism.

    Guantánamo detainee convicted in rigged military trial
    By Patrick Martin, 7 August 2008

    World Socialist Website? (none / 0) (#15)
    by JoeA on Thu Aug 07, 2008 at 07:11:52 AM EST
    I'm not sure that Obama will be losing too much sleep about that article.  That would be an endorsement he would run a mile from.

    Obama's sleep (none / 0) (#17)
    by Andreas on Thu Aug 07, 2008 at 01:09:33 PM EST
    How is Obama's sleep relevant for anything? Which "endorsement" are you talking about? What did you really want to say?