Patterico's Pontifications

5/24/2009

Sen. Leahy on Guantanamo, Then and Now

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 6:47 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

Let’s look at how Democratic leader Sen. Patrick Leahy’s views on Guantanamo have changed over the years. First, from a recent Huffington Post article entitled “Time to Support the President and Close the Facility at Guantanamo Bay”:

“Guantanamo has become the symbol of the severe missteps that our country took in recent years. Changing our interrogation policies to ban torture was an essential first step. But only by shutting the Guantanamo facility down and restoring tough but fair procedures can we repair our image in the world.”

Now let’s consider Leahy’s 2005 view:

The question isn’t Guantanamo by itself. Obviously, if we’re holding people, we’re going to hold them somewhere. The question that the rest of the world keeps asking this nation, this great nation of ours, is what is this legal limbo they’re being held in? How do you get them out of that legal limbo?
***
Both Republican and Democrats have said that; [President Bush’s] own cabinet is now saying we are considering [closing Guantanamo]. What I’m far more interested is not so much Guantanamo but saying to the rest of the world we have rules and we’re going to follow rules. Today we do not. I don’t care what anybody says. We do not have rules, not consistent rules.”

What about prolonged or preventive detention, something Barack Obama advocated in his recent foreign policy speech? Here’s Leahy’s view in 2005:

Let us make a very clear statement to the rest of the world what they are. If they’re going to say we are going to hold them until hostilities are over, if hostilities are defined as being under a terror threat, that’s going to happen for the rest of our life. Do we hold them for the rest of our life?
***
I think we have to show the rest of world not that we say, well, we can hold them forever so long as there’s any terror threat, well, that will last throughout your lifetime and my lifetime, but rather say, we are saying for procedure, we are either going to charge them with something or we are going to release them.

I can’t find Leahy’s current response to Obama’s preventive detention policy, other than his Huffington Post statement that he wants to restore “tough but fair procedures.” Please link it in the comments if you find his response. My guess is he was against it before he was for it.

— DRJ

18 Responses to “Sen. Leahy on Guantanamo, Then and Now”

  1. This is all BDS writ large. Policy A under Bush – evil, criminal, a blow to the foundation of our society. Same Policy A (or even further) under Teh One – practical, introspective, and an important change in the message sent to the rest of the world that we are no longer lawless cowboys.

    JD (e7c77f)

  2. They couldn’t tell Leahy what the policy is or he would leak it, like he used to leak everything from the Senate Intel Cmte, before they kicked him off of it.

    AD - RtR/OS! (cc5dea)

  3. I don’t think Leahy really cares about Guantanamo, he’s all about the BDS. He wants his frog marching and show trials of Bush Administration officials and he’s prolly P.O.’d at Obama saying no one will be prosecuted this week.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  4. I think the “Silence of the Trolls” here is pretty telling on this subject and that of EIT. They realize their man has flip flopped, misled them, and they have lost the debate. It warms the embers of my lifelong conservative,misanthropic, misogynistic, jingoistic, homophobic, carnivorous, war mongering, god bothering, NASCAR watching, country music listening, Israel supporting, carbon spewing heart.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  5. The Democrats are going to solve the public relations problem, which they created, by closing the state of the art facility on a tropical island and moving the prisoners into a brutal maximum security prison. Their public relations problem will be solved until the media reports that the prisoners were far better off at Gitmo. Brilliant

    Terry Gain (6b2a64)

  6. It warms the embers of my lifelong conservative,misanthropic, misogynistic, jingoistic, homophobic, carnivorous, war mongering, god bothering, NASCAR watching, country music listening, Israel supporting, carbon spewing heart.

    Goldarnit Mr. Rocks, you use your tongue prettier than a $20 whore

    Horatio (e2e328)

  7. There are reports that NK has conducted an underground nuclear test. Amazingly, they’ve done this despite Obama’s warnings not to do so. My goodness, have the Norks never heard Obama deliver a speech?

    Terry Gain (6b2a64)

  8. Good one, Terry Gain.

    DRJ (2901e6)

  9. Hot air prevents nukes?

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  10. Maybe, just maybe, the rest of the world doesn’t give a flying fark about “our rules?”

    They just don’t want our “rules’ to contradict what they want without killing them.

    Ag80 (425b0a)

  11. daley…
    You forget “gun-clinging”.

    AD - RtR/OS! (cc5dea)

  12. AD – Can’t own ’em where I live, fascist gubmint swine bastiges.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  13. The needlessly confuses himself by his obsession with B.J. Clinton failed criminal justice approach to combating terrorism. The Constitution gives the Comander-in-Chief the power to detain enemy combatants.

    The fact that the combants don’t wear uniforms, adhere to the Geneva Conventions or our serve any recognized state does not confere on them, as illegal combatants, any additional rights. That is there problem, not ours.

    DavidL (02e14f)

  14. NK nuclear test claimed and detected. Missile tests afterwards.

    I’m sure the Norks are quivering in fear over the next strongly-worded statement.

    Sheriff Joe was right: “Gird your loins”.

    Techie (9c008e)

  15. Now all we have to do is wait for our very own Mr. Peepers (Linday Graham, R – Poncey Boy) to weigh in with his strong approval of Leahy’s statement.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  16. #13’s facts not only fail to confere any legal rights on such “enemy combatants,” any one of those facts makes them eligible to be summarily dispatched. Which should be their immediate fate unless they’re providing useful information, truthfully, forthrightly, and in a timely manner. Otherwise they can go to their god like rabid dogs.

    If any administration, Republican or Democrat, hasn’t got the institutional guts to kill our enemies, they fail in their duty to protect and defend the nation. You can’t pick and choose your facts, some facts require the difficult labors of hard men, and dealing with terrorists or “enemy combatants” is one such fact. Obama et al may ignore the realities of deadly conflict, but the consequences are severe in the extreme.

    Ropelight (e36d4f)

  17. We are in conflict in a hard world, being led by less than hard men – a not entirely desirable situation.

    AD - RtR/OS! (f03f38)

  18. Too bad no one really knows who is really a “terrorist”, since no actual trials have happened. It’s common knowledge that many were just rounded up so many of the commanders could get a quota of prisoners. Others were just nabbed because the US gave money to Iraqis who would bring a “terrorist” in, and in many cases were just someone or another they, an Iraqi, had a beef with for some reason or another.

    This is interesting, in Reuters:
    http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSLS172193

    blubonnet (ae1d2a)


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