Obama Keeps Military Commission Trials

President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)into law today. While it contains improvements to trial by military commission, the procedures are still flawed and should have been scrapped in favor of federal criminal trials. From the ACLU:

The NDAA makes improvements to the military commissions but fails to bring those tribunals in line with the U.S. Constitution and international law under the Geneva Conventions. It continues to apply the military commissions to a much broader group of individuals than should be tried before them under the Constitution and the Geneva Conventions and does not prohibit military commission trials of children. The new law does, however, for the first time require experienced capital defense attorneys in death penalty cases, authorize more resources for defense counsel, impose new limitations on the use of hearsay and coerced testimony and afford greater access to witnesses and evidence for defendants.

The ACLU firmly believes that the military commissions should be shut down for good as they remain a second class system of justice that cannot shed the shameful legacy of Guantánamo and all it stands for, rendering their results open to question.

The Center for Constitutional Rights issued an even stronger critique: [More...]

“These are now President Obama's military commissions: he owns them and all of the problems that come with them, and their inevitable failure will scar his legacy and embolden our critics in the world. Military commissions are an unnecessary, jury-rigged creation, second-rate in comparison to our legal system. Obama is tinkering with the Constitution for no good reason.”

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  • Display: Sort:
    I don't know about this guy (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by SOS on Wed Oct 28, 2009 at 09:19:22 PM EST
    in all honesty.

    You don't? (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by lambert on Wed Oct 28, 2009 at 09:43:39 PM EST
    What more do you need to know?

    But it's all about the Hate Crimes add-on (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by NealB on Wed Oct 28, 2009 at 09:32:22 PM EST
    Donchaknow? Eleven years after Matthew Shephard was killed on a fence in Montana because he was gay, let's raise a glass and three cheers for Obama's huge achievement in managing to (using his left had no less) sign a bill that slipped in a more-or-less meaningless hate crimes provision that will do nothing to end hatred of gays nor the crimes against them. Like he gives a sh!t whether gay men or women are abused and killed when he hasn't got the guts to take direct action to end don't ask don't tell or to push directly to repeal the defense of marriage act.

    Like everything, it's impossible to believe that Obama cares about anything except his own existence as the first sort-of-black president. But next time we call him out on his failings, as president, to actually do something significant to advance opportunity for gay Americans, he'll unctiously point to his signing of this bill, whatever its heinous components, as proof that he's done his part to help.

    What a little man he is.

    "Sort-of-black president" (none / 0) (#11)
    by Spamlet on Thu Oct 29, 2009 at 02:01:33 AM EST
    Meaning . . . ?

    He had such an opportunity to leave the (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by Anne on Wed Oct 28, 2009 at 09:41:34 PM EST
    travesty of the Bush administration behind and set us on a new and better course, one that would speak clearly about our commitment to basic human rights and our belief in the integrity of the American justice sysem.

    And he failed.

    There is no blaming the Bush administration anymore: not only does he own this, he's established who he is and what he believes.

    And I am sorry, but sadly not surprised, that this is the course he has chosen.

    According to AP sidebar, Pres. is (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Wed Oct 28, 2009 at 10:21:47 PM EST
    irritated people are grumbling about his date nights in NYC.  Extraordinarily thin-skinned.

    Axelrod (none / 0) (#10)
    by Spamlet on Thu Oct 29, 2009 at 01:59:29 AM EST
    told him so several years ago. He was concerned about this trait as a vulnerability.

    Dem Complicity in All Bush-Era Crimes (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by kidneystones on Wed Oct 28, 2009 at 10:42:04 PM EST
    Obama is a card carrying member of the Bush butch club dating to his support for the amendment that allowed Bush to send nuclear material to rogue nuke power India. HRC, Biden, Lieberman, and McCain all signed on. Feingold and about twenty others did not.

    Obama likes nice suits, big houses, and all the finer things in life. He's them, not us. Unless you're making well over 250k a year.

    That's his base. He's not aspiring to return to the simple joys of shopping at target. Neither is his wife. No crime in that; but this is just the latest installment of what can the government do for me and my pals, played out against the time-honored backdrop of screw the little gal and guy.

    Getting in their faces is about the only thing that works; but there's an awful lot of money floating around for those willing to lend an ear to big pharma et al.

    Dems are up to their necks in all of it.

    excuse me, (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by cpinva on Thu Oct 29, 2009 at 02:21:03 AM EST
    i seem to have left my "change" in my other pants.

    I think the people detained at Guantanamo (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Wed Oct 28, 2009 at 09:25:30 PM EST
    would appreciate a "jury-rigged" system--in a U.S. district court.  

    Maybe in 2012 we'll elect a Democrat? (none / 0) (#6)
    by lambert on Wed Oct 28, 2009 at 09:44:31 PM EST
    Oh, wait...

    Oh well (none / 0) (#9)
    by FreakyBeaky on Thu Oct 29, 2009 at 12:36:08 AM EST
    Step in the right direction and back to court, then?

    "Meet the new boss.... (none / 0) (#13)
    by kdog on Thu Oct 29, 2009 at 08:46:18 AM EST
    same as the old boss"

    Sorry Pete, you were wrong, most will get fooled over and over and over again.

    Another failed attempt (none / 0) (#14)
    by mmc9431 on Thu Oct 29, 2009 at 10:12:22 AM EST
    By Democrat's to show that they're not weak on national security.

    Rather than showing strength, it shows an utter weakness of principle.

    So many words. So little action. This is Obama's legacy.