Obama Sides With Bush on Bagram Detainees

The Obama Administration has advised a federal judge that it agrees with former President Bush's position that detainees at the U.S. military prison in Bagram, Afghanistan have no right to challenge their confinement in U.S. Courts.

Last year, the US Supreme Court gave suspects held at the US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the right to challenge their detention.
Following that ruling, petitions were filed at a Washington district court on behalf of four detainees at Bagram.

The judge then gave the new administration an opportunity to refine the rules on appeals. In a two-sentence filing, justice department lawyers said the new administration had decided not to change the government's position.


What's the difference? More water between the U.S. and Afghanistan than the U.S. and Cuba?

The US justice department argues that Bagram differs from Guantanamo Bay because it is in an overseas war zone and prisoners there are being held as part of ongoing military action.

Prof Barbara Olshansky, who represents four Bagram detainees, responds:

"The situation in Bagram is so far from anything like meeting the laws of war or the human rights treaties that we're bound to," she told the BBC. "There are no military hearings where the detainees can present evidence," she added. "Torture has led to homicides there that have been admitted by the US."

"It's quite a severe situation, and yet the US is planning a $60m new prison to hold 1,100 more people there."

Olshansky said Obama's response was both surprising and a disappointment.

Bagram was never meant to be a long-term facility, yet that is what it has become. The New York Times reported in 2006:

Pentagon officials have often described the detention site at Bagram, a cavernous former machine shop on an American air base 40 miles north of Kabul, as a screening center. They said most of the detainees were Afghans who might eventually be released under an amnesty program or transferred to an Afghan prison that is to be built with American aid.

....Bagram has operated in rigorous secrecy since it opened in 2002. It bars outside visitors except for the International Red Cross and refuses to make public the names of those held there. The prison may not be photographed, even from a distance.

From the accounts of former detainees, military officials and soldiers who served there, a picture emerges of a place that is in many ways rougher and more bleak than its counterpart in Cuba.

Men are held by the dozen in large wire cages, the detainees and military sources said, sleeping on the floor on foam mats and, until about a year ago, often using plastic buckets for latrines. Before recent renovations, they rarely saw daylight except for brief visits to a small exercise yard.

The military review hearings at Bagram are much more restrictive than at Gitmo:

The Bagram panels, called Enemy Combatant Review Boards, offer no such guarantees. Reviews are conducted after 90 days and at least annually thereafter, but detainees are not informed of the accusations against them, have no advocate and cannot appear before the board, officials said. "The detainee is not involved at all," one official familiar with the process said.

Is Obama also going to go along with the plan to build prisons abroad to hold these detainees, perhaps for life, even though no charges have been brought against them?

The reporting on this in other countries is not likely to be favorable. The Sydney Morning Herald has no quotes from Obama or the DOJ and this quote from Olansky:

"The decision by the Obama administration to adhere to a position that has contributed to making our country a pariah around the world for its flagrant disregard of people's human rights is deeply disappointing," said Barbara Olshansky, lead counsel for three of four detainees.

All of our Bagram coverage is accessible here.

< Pentagon Report: Guantanamo Complies With Geneva Conventions | Cutting The Deficit In Half >
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    Horrible News (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by squeaky on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 07:36:27 PM EST
    Strike two, after approving BushCo states secret defense in Mohamed et al v Jeppeson. After this I don't know how he can look in the mirror, no less face those here and abroad who believed he was going to restore American values after BushCo decimated them.

    This, the Jeppeson case (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by caseyOR on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 08:41:46 PM EST
    and the Obama administration's recent decision to support BushCo's position on the missing White House e-mails.

    Change we can believe in, people.


    And. according to LAT, Abu Ghraib (sp) (none / 0) (#37)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 11:47:40 PM EST
    is reopening under a different name.

    Blackwater Too (none / 0) (#39)
    by squeaky on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 11:54:46 PM EST
    What a coincidence.

    That (5.00 / 3) (#44)
    by jbindc on Sun Feb 22, 2009 at 08:13:41 AM EST
    should be no surprise to anyone

    Primary News? (none / 0) (#55)
    by squeaky on Sun Feb 22, 2009 at 11:23:08 AM EST
    Got a file on old news? Here is some newer old news that updates your campaign propaganda.

    Read your own words much? (5.00 / 3) (#57)
    by jbindc on Sun Feb 22, 2009 at 11:42:57 AM EST
    Who cares if it is "old" news?  And is it really "old" or is that just you framing the question?  This shows his intent and position regarding Blackwater during the primaries - you know, one of the things people based their vote for him on.  But you are one who is acting surprised.

    Your words:

    Strike two, after approving BushCo states secret defense in Mohamed et al v Jeppeson. After this I don't know how he can look in the mirror, no less face those here and abroad who believed he was going to restore American values after BushCo decimated them.

    Apparently, you just don't pay attention.


    BS (none / 0) (#58)
    by squeaky on Sun Feb 22, 2009 at 11:53:19 AM EST
    I am quite up to date on Blackwater issue and had followed it more closely than you evidentially have as you are obviously behind the curve. Not sure why you would post a campaign rhetoric from January '08, unless you are afraid of letting go of cult identity.

    Defending those who tortured (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 10:22:22 PM EST
    I think that goes too far.  Obama has indicated a reluctance to prosecute Bush adminstration officials.....

    Prosecutions are less important that airing the truth....and a truth commission is actually more likely....


    You are very sure of facts (5.00 / 0) (#28)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 10:48:06 PM EST
    that I dare say are far from proved....

    You say Obama is not focused on a Truth Commission. Maybe so...but Conyers will most likely go forward....



    Is there any equivalence or proportionality? (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 10:43:03 PM EST
    What are the geographic parameters of this Middle East "war zone" wherein US forces are free to abduct "enemy combatants", who can be detained forever and interrogated into perpetuity, with no prospect of charges or trial.

    Have the entire countries of Afghanistan and Iraq become war zones since Bush first sent troops there?

    If we apply that illogic on the home front and 9/11 is classified as an act of war, the entire United States can conceivably be characterized as a "war zone"; wherein Iraqis or Afghanis could justify abducting American "enemy combatants" and rendering them to the Middle East where they may be detained indefinitely, tortured, etc. etc.  

    How horrifying, that the new administration is on course to compound the madness of the past 8 years with ample assistance from enablers who call themselves Democrats, liberals, and/or progressives.

    Let me see if I understand (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Steve M on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 10:54:28 PM EST
    If I believe the entire nation of Iraq is a war zone, I also have to believe the entire U.S. is a war zone based upon one attack on our soil 8 years ago?

    If that's the proposition that distinguishes real progressives from "enablers who call themselves progressives" then I suppose I have to seat myself in the enabler section.


    That's not what I said Steve and you know it. (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 11:50:05 PM EST
    I am not asking anybody to "believe the entire U.S. is a war zone". I am only suggesting that we try to imagine an equivalence: and where is the harm in that?

    I also did not state that people who fail to imagine this kind of equivalence are "enablers" of Obama's, arguably, misguided venture in Afghanistan. That misconstrued "proposition" is yours.

    That being said, I have no wish for any confrontation with you - over this or any other issue. Peace, easy to imagine if you try.


    A Nation of Laws? (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by kidneystones on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 11:30:40 PM EST
    I'm no fan of the new President, to say the least. However, I'm far more shocked ( and it really does take a lot to shock me) that Dems are actually helping Bush fight the release of all those missing email.

    The attacks on civilians 'in the wrong part' of their own homes, rendition, and the Bagram case seem to me part and parcel of the same failure. Dems had years to formulate a workable policy towards detainees and the so-called WOT.

    Obama is not alone in failing to provide a workable alternative to Bush' egregious indifference to rule of law. Critics joke about concurrent war-crimes trials for Bush and Obama. For my money, the e-mail issue is at least as important, simply because it's impossible to find out what crimes have actually been committed if Justice is denied the opportunity to examine the evidence.

    Obama Administration Needs to Rethink Bagram (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by john horse on Sun Feb 22, 2009 at 08:35:15 AM EST
    I too am stumped by how President Obama can simultaneously advocate that Guatanamo be shut down and other foreign prisons for detainees like Bagram remain open.  The Obama/Bush position (and as a Obama supporter it pains me to be writing about an "Obama/Bush" position) is that there are some places in the world where the US does not have to adhere to the laws of war and human rights treaties.  

    Based on the Obama/Bush position we should add the following line to the Declaration of Independence:

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness except for detainees held by our government in overseas war zones.

    Not Just Staying Open (none / 0) (#54)
    by squeaky on Sun Feb 22, 2009 at 11:12:59 AM EST
    But expanding to hold an additional 1100 detainees. $60 million new 40 acre building facility.

    Different from states secrets (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by BobTinKY on Sun Feb 22, 2009 at 10:13:52 AM EST
    which was hugely dissappointing.

    Bagram is in Afghanistan and is not US territory like Gitmo.  And Afghanistan, unlike Iraq, was in the view of most, including me, a legitimate invasion.  I always have viewed it as consistent with the legal doctrine of respondeat superior.  The Taliban (existing Afghan government) refused to police Al Queda within their borders.   After 9/11, indeed after the Cole, the US was entirely within its rights to then go after Al Queda if the Taliban would not.

    The problem with how the war has proceeded is that the enemy in, Afghanistan is Al Queda, not necessarily the Taliban.  If Bin Laden is proved dead or captured and if the Taliban agree henceforth to police Al Queda as they should have, then the US can declare victory and leave.  I think that is Obama's goal.  Bushco, as was so typical of the criminals, saw the invasion as an opportunity to also install a puppet government so US oil & gas companies would be awarded a long sought pipeline rights across Afghanistan.

    Are the Taliban thugs with no respect for women?   Well at the risk of appearing ethnocentric, yes.  However, that is no reason for me to approve use of government funds to put our countrymen and women in harm's way halfway around the world.  Destroying Al Queda, however,is.

    I have not read the government's brief but I do see a distinction, without concluding yet that it makes a difference, between Gitmo and Bagram.  That does not mean use of torture is not illegal or should not be punished pursuant to international agreements.  It should.  It means the prisoners must seek redress through something other than the US Constitution, the Geneva Conventions come to mind.  

    Perpetrators of torture including those ordering it at the highest levels of government, and who are US citizens, should be prosucuted under all applicable laws including US law.

    Something crazy going on (3.00 / 2) (#48)
    by NYShooter on Sun Feb 22, 2009 at 09:33:11 AM EST
    During the primaries, I called out Obama as the slickest con-man I had ever seen. His history of non-achievement, gaming elections, and cynically substituting emotion for policy, made him pathological, as far as I was concerned. But this is different.

    FISA should have been "The Bell Heard `round the World."

    What does he know that we don't? Is it possible that when he was briefed for the first time about what's "really" going on, he heard things that curled his toes? Is it within the realm of possibility that THE SECRET, if divulged to other seemingly sane and reasonable leaders would produce the same kind of incomprehensible decisions as Obama is showing? Does he know Bin Laden's real objectives, and the time estimate to realizing them? Maybe, if the American public KNEW what he knows, they'd say, To Hell with them, nuke'm all, don't care about "rights, torture, or body counts. Kill'em all before they kill us."

    It's either that, or "pathological" doesn't begin to describe our President Obama.

    gaming elections? (5.00 / 3) (#53)
    by BobTinKY on Sun Feb 22, 2009 at 10:41:08 AM EST


    explain.  Getting elected US senator in Illinois as a black man is no small accomplishment. Going from editor of Harvard Law Review to community organzing, and not Wall Street or a six figure salary at a major US firm, well I suppose that reveals nothing in the way of achievement in today's USA.  I think it is rather remarkable.  Going from community organizer on the southside of Chicago, to state senate,  to US Senate is amazing.  

    Seriously, the man won fair and square and is now our President.  Disagreements with his policy should be the focus, not this Obama derangement syndrome.  We need always to push him to be more progressive.  I believe events will require him to move left anyway even if it is not his inclination.

    But the election is over.


    Please (3.00 / 2) (#63)
    by NYShooter on Sun Feb 22, 2009 at 12:49:48 PM EST
    You really should read some history, and THEN comment. See, it's the order that's confusing you.

    But, I know; I really do know that all the moves to the Right he's taken since being elected, from FISA to torture, to "If the President does it, it's not a Crime," or was that Nixon?....oh well, I know he's so much smarter than the rest of us that once he's got the right wing right where he wants them, he'll do a wheely and a 180, and THEN institute all the progressive initiatives all you people voted for.


    My, but you really need (none / 0) (#59)
    by Cream City on Sun Feb 22, 2009 at 11:57:48 AM EST
    to read up here.

    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by squeaky on Sun Feb 22, 2009 at 12:03:33 PM EST
    Some TL commenters can provide up to date cult news and the latest ODS developments,  lol..

    SLS on crack.


    Actually, Bob (none / 0) (#65)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Feb 22, 2009 at 01:30:27 PM EST
    Getting elected US senator in Illinois as a black man is no small accomplishment. Going from editor of Harvard Law Review to community organzing, and not Wall Street or a six figure salary at a major US firm, well I suppose that reveals nothing in the way of achievement in today's USA.  I think it is rather remarkable.  Going from community organizer on the southside of Chicago, to state senate,  to US Senate is amazing.

    Those are job titles, list the accomplishments within those titles. And, investigate that Editor of Harvard Law Review title...he was the 1st President of the HLR and he never published anything while in the position. Who was his opponent in the race to US Senate after Jack Ryan was pushed out of the running with trashy political maneuvering?


    Worth a try, but if Bob (none / 0) (#66)
    by Cream City on Sun Feb 22, 2009 at 01:38:22 PM EST
    wanted to question reasons for his sugar high, he would have done so -- it's all here and elsewhere.

    Water under the bridge; Bob and others bought the wonderful life story sold to them.  So it goes.

    More important now to see if Obama starts to rack up accomplishments in his latest career step.  Yes, he can, and with a country behind him on a sugar high, too.  It has its uses, so I hope he uses all the sweet stuff for the sake of others.


    At this rate of "speedy" response (none / 0) (#1)
    by Cream City on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 07:23:06 PM EST
    at least we -- and the innocents imprisoned -- can be grateful that the lawyers weren't wordy.  

    I'm just not that into him (none / 0) (#3)
    by nellre on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 07:36:35 PM EST
    One disappointment after another, and I'm not even an Obamabot.

    hey, we agreed not to use that word (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 07:43:21 PM EST
    ok? Thanks.

    On the plus side, 60mil (none / 0) (#5)
    by Radix on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 07:44:01 PM EST
    goes a long way there, the new prison should be one spiffy hell hole. /s

    They are going (none / 0) (#7)
    by Salo on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 08:41:07 PM EST
    to round up hundreds if not thousands of new inmates this summer.  The new offensive eats afghani flesh.

    The policy issue is one thing (none / 0) (#9)
    by Steve M on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 08:43:43 PM EST
    but as a legal matter, I cannot imagine making habeas available to detainees in a war zone.  I don't even see the argument.

    Hm (none / 0) (#13)
    by Steve M on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 09:55:33 PM EST
    Haven't we been housing captives at Bagram for years under Bush?  Because my head has yet to explode.

    Capturing people in a war and holding them as prisoners in the war zone doesn't sound like an end run to me.  In fact it sounds like just about every war in history.  I'd be surprised to find out that such prisoners have ever been granted the right to habeas.


    Right-o (5.00 / 0) (#24)
    by Steve M on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 10:40:10 PM EST
    I can always tell when you run out of evidence because you resort to childish insults.  As usual, it didn't take long.

    Uh huh (none / 0) (#64)
    by Steve M on Sun Feb 22, 2009 at 01:15:56 PM EST
    "So you are not so good at math. 1+1 is hard for some people." is not an insult.  Tell me another story.

    thank you Intrepid One for a dose of reality !! (1.00 / 0) (#33)
    by fly on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 11:16:04 PM EST
    and a reality based post!

    Be serious (none / 0) (#18)
    by Dadler on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 10:26:13 PM EST
    You know how many of these people were just rounded up en masse, or were i.d.'d for a bounty, or for a bounty and a grudge?

    If ten percent of these folks are being held for some legitimate reason, I would be surprised.


    We know about Gitmo (none / 0) (#21)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 10:36:06 PM EST
    but less about Baghram.....

    It will boil down at some point to a matter of trust.....whether Obama will torture people in U.S. captivity in spite of everything he has said to the contrary.....


    Nope (none / 0) (#27)
    by Steve M on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 10:44:41 PM EST
    I have no idea dude.

    But do you really think every prisoner we capture in a war zone is entitled to habeas relief?  Doesn't sound realistic to me, and I'd be surprised if there's any legal precedent for it.


    so then as long as no prisoners (none / 0) (#43)
    by of1000Kings on Sun Feb 22, 2009 at 02:25:17 AM EST
    from outside of AFGH or Pakistan are ever in the prison then things should be fine (meaning as long as this isn't an Gitmo loophole)...

    and as long as there isn't any torture, of course...

    guess we'll just have to take our extremely trustworthy government's word for it right now...


    You assume the worst (none / 0) (#22)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 10:38:45 PM EST
    and sure theoretically one can create all kinds of scenarios....bt the question is what is the most likely one....

    You are biased against Obama, so the resulting conclusions you draw suffer from that bias...


    Same Old (5.00 / 0) (#29)
    by squeaky on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 10:51:07 PM EST
    The never ending Primary (5.00 / 0) (#31)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 10:55:35 PM EST
    I do think it fine to hold Obama to his promises about torture....but one needs to be fair in making accusations....

    Annoying Before The Primary (5.00 / 0) (#32)
    by squeaky on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 11:11:17 PM EST
    He has a thing for BTD. To get a taste of early talex here.

    Reality via cfr.org (Council on Foreign Relations) (none / 0) (#52)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Feb 22, 2009 at 10:37:49 AM EST
    Detainee Rights

    All of the detainees are unlawful combatants and thus do not as a matter of law receive the protections of the Third Geneva Convention. However, the United States armed forces are treating, and will continue to treat, all enemy combatants humanely and, to the extent appropriate and consistent with military necessity, in a manner consistent with the principles of the Third Geneva Convention of 1949. Among many other things, this means that they receive: three meals a day that meet Muslim dietary laws; medical care; clothing and shoes; shelter; showers; soap and toilet articles; the opportunity to worship; the means to send mail and receive mail, subject to security screening; and the ability to receive packages of food and clothing, also subject to security screening. In addition, the International Committee of the Red Cross has visited and will continue to visit the detainees privately. The detainees will be permitted to raise concerns about their conditions, and we will attempt to address those concerns consistent with security.

    The non-citizen detainees in Guantanamo have no right to habeas corpus relief in U.S. courts. See, e.g., Coalition of Clergy v. Bush, 189 F. Supp. 2d 1036 (C.D. Cal. 2002), affirmed on other grounds, 2002 U.S. App. LEXIS 23705 (9th Cir. Nov. 18, 2002). As noted above, however, we have permitted the ICRC access to the detainees, and we have notified each detainee's country of origin that the detainee is in DoD control.

    U.S. citizen enemy combatants who are detained in the United States may challenge their detention by a petition for habeas corpus. In the view of the U.S. government, enemy combatants have no right to counsel to challenge their detention. Providing enemy combatants a right of access to counsel could thwart our ability to collect critical information and could imperil efforts to prevent further terrorist attacks. It might also enable detained enemy combatants to pass concealed messages to the enemy.

    Length of Detention

    Many have claimed that enemy combatants are being detained "indefinitely." The suggestion appears to be that they are being detained lawlessly and without limit. That is not true. As explained above, the constitutional power to detain during wartime is well settled. In addition, international law - including the Third Geneva Convention - unambiguously permits a government to detain enemy combatants at least until hostilities cease. There may be uncertainty about when hostilities cease in the novel conflict with al Qaida. But disquiet about indefinite detention is misplaced for two reasons.

    First, the concern is premature. In prior wars combatants (including U.S. POWs) have been legally detained for years. We have not yet approached that point in the current conflict. Second, the government has no interest in detaining enemy combatants any longer than necessary, and the Department of Defense reviews the status of all enemy combatants on a case-by-case basis to determine whether they should continue to be detained. Since we first captured or came to control detainees in Afghanistan, we have released many thousands, and we recently released additional detainees from the United States Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. But as long as hostilities continue and the detainees present a threat or retain intelligence or law enforcement value, no law requires that the detainees be released, and it would be imprudent to do so.


    It is one thing to criticize (none / 0) (#15)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 10:15:08 PM EST
    But I'm not sure that giving people detained in Afghanistan access to our courts is the answer.

    You connect a lot of dots (none / 0) (#20)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 10:34:13 PM EST
    --typically to blast Obama.....

    Rendition was done under Clinton.  There is a difference between rendition and torture.  


    And rendition is different (none / 0) (#25)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 10:42:19 PM EST
    than shuffling people from Gitmo to another U.S. prison....

     I would be very surprised if we do not find out about the vast majority of where the current inmates at Gitmo go to.


    Words Just Words (none / 0) (#12)
    by Saul on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 09:25:50 PM EST
    I voted for Obama but I just don't know if I can trust him.  Did he say all those words just to get elected when he knew deep down inside he would not be able to deliver on many of his campaign promises and the whole change mem.

    One day he is doing something good and then bang the next day he's no different than Bush the very thing he was running against.

    Keeping renditions, states secrets crap and now this.

    Too many inconsistencies IMO.

    All which give people doubt.

    Or do not remove doubts (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Cream City on Sat Feb 21, 2009 at 10:02:26 PM EST
    already there and sadly being affirmed.

    But most of the country doesn't doubt, doesn't know, and remains convinced that the heavens will open, the light will shine down upon us, etc.

    They will awake, I fear -- but even more, what it will take to awake them.  Ignorance is bliss for now, as they keep thinking that the state of the country and the world has nothing to do with Obama.


    Do you remember NAFTA and Obama's reps going (none / 0) (#56)
    by fly on Sun Feb 22, 2009 at 11:36:45 AM EST
    to Canada and telling them .."only kidding" about Obama's NAFTA stance in campaigning??????..Was there part of that lying you didn't understand????? Or did you ignore it like most of the Obama supporters? Did you honestly not think he was nothing but a liar??????? Then.....let me refresh your memory..


    At a briefing with reporters on Tuesday, Denis McDonough, a spokesman for the National Security Council, said Mr. Obama intended to use his visit to "underscore the importance of what is already a very robust trading relationship" and to "look for ways to grow on that as it relates to new and entrepreneurial and innovative technologies on energy and green technology."

    That is a far cry from the language of Candidate Obama. He said in a Democratic debate last year that the United States should consider leaving Nafta if the agreement could not be renegotiated. And at another point he sharply attacked Mrs. Clinton, his chief Democratic rival, for what he asserted was a shift in her stance on Nafta.

    "Ten years after Nafta passed, Senator Clinton said it was good for America," Mr. Obama told the crowd at that time. "Well, I don't think Nafta has been good for America -- and I never have."

    Later, the campaign was caught in a flap over reports that a top economic adviser to Mr. Obama, Austan Goolsbee, had tried to play down the candidate's remarks by assuring Canadian officials that they were "more reflective of political maneuvering than policy." The Obama campaign dismissed the reports as untrue.

    This guy is not inconsistant.you just didn't listen to what he said, or didn't want to hear what he was really saying.


    Seems like he is accepting Bush tactics (none / 0) (#42)
    by dualdiagnosis on Sun Feb 22, 2009 at 02:23:49 AM EST
    and Obama defenders are doing what they do best, blindly defending.

    Proves talk is cheap (none / 0) (#46)
    by mmc9431 on Sun Feb 22, 2009 at 08:40:05 AM EST
    Why wouldn't these prisoners be turned over to the Afghan government? Let them run the prison. After all, it's their country and the crimes are against their people.

    How can we change international opinion of the US and it's unilateral policies if we continue to embrace the very same policies that have turned so many around the world against us?

    One day you have HRC in China speaking about human rights at the same time you have an administration ignoring the same issue.

    We're a nation of "Do as I say and not as I do".

    Bagram IS Guantánamo (none / 0) (#67)
    by Red Shovel on Mon Feb 23, 2009 at 12:13:20 PM EST
    According to this Reuters/UK article, Bagram currently holds more than 600 detainees.  The case that Jeralyn is writing about in this post is being brought by four detainees who were captured outside of Afghanistan.

    So, please note the facts of the case: the detainees are being held without the ability to challenge their detention, without access to a lawyer, without the ability to see the evidence against them... and they were NOT captured "on the battlefield" in a "war zone."  They were captured "somewhere" in the world (some might say "kidnapped"), and then taken to Bagram Air Base, where they've been held ever since.

    This case is not about the ability of the military to capture fighters on the battlefield.  This case is not about prisoners of war having access to the US court system.  This is about people taken by US security forces and then held without trial, accusation, or evidence, at a facility that is so notorious for abusing prisoners that the Bush administration itself acknowledged that several detainees were murdered there by their guards/interrogators.

    That's what this is about.