I spent a lot of hours campaigning for Obama. I admire and respect him, so should I trust him on this? Is it Constitutionally sound? If it's as wrong as I think it is, am I complicit?
I'm no lawyer, so I sought the opinion of people who know these sorts of things. Frequent Maddow guest Jonathan Turley writes in his blog:
He promised “[w]e are not going to release anyone if it would endanger our national security, nor will we release detainees within the United States who endanger the American people.” Of course, this would mean holding people in violation of domestic and international law — precisely what George Bush did. It is part of the Administration’s effort to appear principled by doing an unprincipled thing. The reason that we cannot try these individuals is because they would win. The solution, according to both Bush and Obama, is not to give them a trial.
(2) Are defenders of Obama's proposals being consistent?
During the Bush years, it was common for Democrats to try to convince conservatives to oppose Bush's executive power expansions by asking them: "Do you really want these powers to be exercised by Hillary Clinton or some liberal President?"
Following that logic, for any Democrat/progressive/liberal/Obama supporter who wants to defend Obama's proposal of "preventive detention," shouldn't you first ask yourself three simple questions:
(a) what would I have said if George Bush and Dick Cheney advocated a law vesting them with the power to preventively imprison people indefinitely and with no charges?;
(b) when Bush and Cheney did preventively imprison large numbers of people, was I in favor of that or did I oppose it, and when right-wing groups such as Heritage Foundation were alone in urging a preventive detention law in 2004, did I support them?; and
(c) even if I'm comfortable with Obama having this new power because I trust him not to abuse it, am I comfortable with future Presidents -- including Republicans -- having the power of indefinite "preventive detention"?
So, not a good week for those of the liberal persuasion.
My much needed "Moment of Dork:"