Patterico's Pontifications

9/15/2009

Obama Administration: Bagram Detainees Have Less Rights Than Gitmo Detainees (Updated)

Filed under: Obama,Terrorism,War — DRJ @ 4:50 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

As reported by Jake Tapper:

“President Obama’s Justice Department last night filed a brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia arguing that the 600 or so detainees the U.S. is holding in Afghanistan at Bagram Air Base have no right to have their cases heard in U.S. courts. Unlike detainees at Guantanamo, those being held in Bagram – many of whom were picked up outside of Afghanistan — have had no access to attorneys or to even hear the allegations against them.”

In the brief, Solicitor General Elena Kagan argues that whatever limited rights detainees have under the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Boumediene v Bush, which granted habeas rights to Guantanamo detainees, they “rested heavily on the ‘unique status of Guantanamo’.”

I think it’s time for civil rights advocates to stage their own march on Washington.

— DRJ

UPDATE: The Obama Administration also plans to extend key Patriot Act provisions that are due to expire.

This is all fine with me but it shouldn’t sit well with liberals who voted for Obama, especially those who cared about his vow to “regain America’s moral stature in the world”.

34 Responses to “Obama Administration: Bagram Detainees Have Less Rights Than Gitmo Detainees (Updated)”

  1. This is factually correct.

    Of course, if they did have rights to have their cases heard in U.S. courts, what is to stop the Air Force from handing them over to the Afghani authorities?

    Michael Ejercito (833607)

  2. Wait. that’s different, DRJ.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  3. I would ask nicely please transfer me to Guantanamo and if that didn’t work I would write a letter to Barack Obama.

    happyfeet (6b707a)

  4. I used to think that this cast of characters was going to be like Carter II – I misspoke; more like Wilson II.

    Dmac (a93b13)

  5. Is that CHANGE the Left can believe in?

    Techie (482700)

  6. Voters like me never believed Obama would reverse course and restore America’s global leadership overnight. We knew the gains would be incremental, as has certainly been the case as regards imposing American values on the Bush military justice system. We voted for Obama not because we thought he’d work miracles, but because we knew he’d bring us closer than McCain would.
    Bagram detainees now at least have the right to challenge their detention. Under Bush’s deeply Orwellian policy, they were subject to indefinite incarceration with no right to even know what they were being held for. The latter is the epitome of big government gone wild…

    Jackson (b9f613)

  7. Spin it all you want, Jackson, but this is a more restrictive policy than what was in force when Bush left office.

    EDIT: I updated the post regarding the Obama Administration’s decision to extend the Patriot Act.

    DRJ (a51a0e)

  8. Hey liberals, guess that righteous mountain top you faux moralist are always preaching from is crumbling right beneath your feet.

    HAAAA….HAAAA!!! but…but that’s tearing up the Constitution.

    HAAAA…HAAAAAA !!!!! We respect the law and people’s rights..

    HAAAAAAAA ….HAAAAAAAA !!!! We are finally proud to be Americans again….

    HAAAAAAAA…..HAAAAAAAAAAAAA !!!! We are going to restore our moral standing internationally that Bush destroyed….

    HOW??????

    By pretty much implementing the same policies and tactics that we whined about for 8 years under the EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEvil Bush regime.

    What a pathetic joke liberals are.

    God what a bunch of idiot sheep.

    Baxter Greene (af5030)

  9. Baxter:

    Have you ever posted as “Bubba Maximus?”

    If not, adjust your medication. If so, visit DU.

    Or, better yet, get help. All caps is not your friend.

    And good commentators get caught in the cache?

    Ag80 (592691)

  10. DRJ, how you can write that? It’s entirely different because…because…because….Bushitler! Blood for oil! Cheney! Limbaugh!

    My theory holds so far. The semantic limbo is necessary so that the supporters of this character won’t admit that their hero has feet of clay.

    “That’s different” and “Bush made it happen” are not very satisfying political arguments, but it seems to sum it up.

    Eric Blair (721b15)

  11. Spectacular, epic, cosmos-class hypocrisy — albeit in an excellent cause, which is to say, the genuine security of the United States of America and its citizens, along with the rest of the civilized world.

    I’d rather see, of course, a President say: “The United States Constitution confers rights on United States citizens everywhere and also upon non-citizens located within the United States, but not upon the world at large. And I’m not appointing any more fuzzy-thinking ‘Sweet Mystery of Life’ Justices to the SCOTUS who can’t keep that kind of distinction straight. Indeed, I’m going to appoint Justices who will vote to overturn Bourmediene the very first chance they get, because it’s an abomination.”

    Since I’m not going to hear that from Barack Obama any time soon, though, I’ll settle for this hypocrisy.

    Beldar (c9f99a)

  12. Bagram detainees now at least have the right to challenge their detention. Under Bush’s deeply Orwellian policy, they were subject to indefinite incarceration with no right to even know what they were being held for. The latter is the epitome of big government gone wild…

    Comment by Jackson — 9/15/2009 @ 8:26 pm

    They can challenge all they want, but Obama and his staff fully believe and practice indefinite detention:

    Obama to Appeal Detainee Ruling

    April 11, 2009
    By THE NEW YORK TIMES

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/11/world/asia/11bagram.html?pagewanted=print

    WASHINGTON — The Obama administration said Friday that it would appeal a district court ruling that granted some military prisoners in Afghanistan the right to file lawsuits seeking their release. The decision signaled that the administration was not backing down in its effort to maintain the power to imprison terrorism suspects for extended periods without judicial oversight.


    Obama the “Orwellian” looks like he loves him some of that Bush “Big Government gone wild”.

    He is doing everything he can to do what his daddy Bush laid out for him to do.

    Obama supports these policies in a big way considering how much attention he paid to it early on:


    Hope and Change Administration: Detainees have “no constitutional rights”

    posted at 9:45 am on February 21, 2009 by Ed Morrissey
    http://hotair.com/archives/2009/02/21/hope-and-change-administration-detainees-have-no-constitutional-rights/

    As the Who said, “Meet the new boss — same as the old boss“:
    Detainees being held at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan cannot use US courts to challenge their detention, the US says.
    The justice department ruled that some 600 so-called enemy combatants at Bagram have no constitutional rights.

    Looks like Bush redux.


    Obama’s War on Terror May Resemble Bush’s in Some Areas

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/18/us/politics/18policy.html?_r=2&pagewanted=print
    By CHARLIE SAVAGE

    In little-noticed confirmation testimony recently, Obama nominees endorsed continuing the C.I.A.’s program of transferring prisoners to other countries without legal rights, and indefinitely detaining terrorism suspects without trials even if they were arrested far from a war zone.

    The administration has also embraced the Bush legal team’s arguments that a lawsuit by former C.I.A. detainees should be shut down based on the “state secrets” doctrine. It has also left the door open to resuming military commission trials

    .

    and it gets better……

    And earlier this month, after a British court cited pressure by the United States in declining to release information about the alleged torture of a detainee in American custody, the Obama administration issued a statement thanking the British government “for its continued commitment to protect sensitive national security information.”


    What’s this…..protecting the EEEEEEEEEEEEEvil torturers.
    Somebody call code pink….Nancy Pelosi…..where o’ where is hollywood when you need them to save the poor terrorist from the EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEvil Obama regime.

    During her confirmation hearing last week, Elena Kagan, the nominee for solicitor general, said that someone suspected of helping finance Al Qaeda should be subject to battlefield law — indefinite detention without a trial — even if he were captured in a place like the Philippines rather than in a physical battle zone.

    Ms. Kagan’s support for an elastic interpretation of the “battlefield” amplified remarks that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. made at his own confirmation hearing. And it dovetailed with a core Bush position. Civil liberties groups argue that people captured away from combat zones should go to prison only after trials.


    It was “war crimes” under Bush.
    Now it’s “smart power”:


    Rendition

    Use of State Secrets

    Use of enhanced interrogation

    Use of secret prisons

    Use of NSA wire tapping

    Use of indefinite detention…….

    I am sure the leaders of the democratic party like Jon Stewart and Bill Maher will let everybody know what the torturer and dictator Obama is doing to destroy our country just like the EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEvil Bush.

    For example, Mr. Obama’s Justice Department last week told an appeals court that the Bush administration was right to invoke “state secrets” to shut down a lawsuit by former C.I.A. detainees who say a Boeing subsidiary helped fly them to places where they were tortured.

    Margaret Satterthwaite, a faculty director at the human rights center at the New York University law school, said, “It was literally just Bush redux — exactly the same legal arguments that we saw the Bush administration present to the court.



    Hope and change baby!!!!!!
    Hope and change!!!!!

    Baxter Greene (af5030)

  13. Comment by Ag80 — 9/15/2009 @ 9:01 pm

    Hey great,
    The blog hall monitor.

    Do you have anything to add concerning the post or is whining pretty much all you do.

    Baxter Greene (af5030)

  14. Baxter Greene

    I do not always agree with Ag80 but he calls ’em like he sees ’em. And this site has it’s share of Moby infestations. So take your tude somewhere else.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  15. I do not always agree with Ag80 but he calls ‘em like he sees ‘em. And this site has it’s share of Moby infestations. So take your tude somewhere else.

    Comment by John Hitchcock — 9/15/2009 @ 9:53 pm

    I have not come here with the “tude” hitchcock,that would be you and Ag80.

    I have pretty much addressed the post and responded to another poster with facts regarding his spin of Obama supporting Bush’s War on Terror policies.

    Something neither one of you has done.

    If Pattrico or DRJ want me gone I will do as they wish, it is their blog.

    You telling me what I need to do means pretty much nothing.

    Baxter Greene (af5030)

  16. “President Obama’s Justice Department last night filed a brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia arguing that the 600 or so detainees the U.S. is holding in Afghanistan at Bagram Air Base have no right to have their cases heard in U.S. courts.”

    As usual…the stench of liberal hypocrisy fills the air.

    Our current dolt-in-chief did everything he could to undercut the Bush administration’s attempt to wage war on terrorists, and he did it for one reason, and one reason only…to get elected. Now that he’s in…he’s following the same policies he once excoriated; policies he had no intention of changing, but only attacked in order to win the votes of the epsilon minuses on the left.

    What a scumbag.

    Dave Surls (bf4073)

  17. Bax: The Obama administration isn’t opposed to allowing detainees to challenge their detention, it is opposed to allowing them to do it in U.S. courts.
    The Bush administration was, initially, opposed to such hearings that would allow detainees to challenge their incarceration. It relented in some specific cases, but only after sustained pressure, much of it from within the military itself.

    Jackson (b9f613)

  18. And talk about hypocrisy: how about the people who lambasted Obama for advocating more rights for detainees and now, right on cue, lambaste him for not advocating more rights for detainees.

    Jackson (b9f613)

  19. Jackson – That’s mockery, not hypocrisy. Learn to recognize the difference.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  20. Comment by Jackson — 9/15/2009 @ 10:24 pm

    This quote seems to me to advocate “indefinite detention” period:

    The decision signaled that the administration was not backing down in its effort to maintain the power to imprison terrorism suspects for extended periods without judicial oversight.

    This does not appear to me to advocate letting terrorist challenge or get the chance to game the system.

    Now if I am taking this wrong,

    Does this coincide with Obama now being in favor of military tribunals.
    He was against these until he became President.

    Bush tried to handle this issue without having important information revealed or leaked out that surely would have happened in court rooms.

    The military tribunals were fought tooth and nail by liberals and groups like the ACLU.

    This issue including Gitmo is a lot more complicated than Obama seemed to realize.

    Now that he is on the hot seat, he has warmed up and taken on many of the same policies that the democratic party railed against for years.

    Comment by Jackson — 9/15/2009 @ 10:27 pm

    I don’t think a lot of people are lambasting Obama for being tougher on the rights of terrorist.

    They (I) am lambasting him for the hypocrisy or lack of judgment to ridicule and demonize the Bush administration for policies that he now supports just a few months into his administration.

    Obama was either extremely clueless for not knowing how important these policies were or he purposely scandalized them to gain political power.

    Both choices are a serious strike against the “Hope and Change”,”smart power” mantra.

    Baxter Greene (af5030)

  21. Baxter, honey, as I said, o dearie mine, there are lots of Moby types who infest here, mon petit chou, and your post that drew Ag80’s attention sounded Moby, sweetness. If you remember, sugar britches, you went straight for the “hall monitor” fecal matter, punkin, and straight to Tudesville USA.

    I have seen you post here a few months back, dreamsicle, and was nonplussed. And, precious, your previous post had Moby-like qualities. Conservative-like, but not quite kosher. I am not all that convinced, puddin, that you are a Moby, but to the casual eye, kitten, you can seem like it. So, hon, please take your little blue pill and . . . take that tude of yours and shove it.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  22. 21.

    Comment by John Hitchcock — 9/15/2009 @ 11:00 pm

    AWWWWWWW.
    The Great and wonderful Hitchcock that everybody is just waiting with incredible anticipation to gain your acceptance as to whether they meet up to your incredible standards of blogging does not like me.

    I tell you I will be up all night worrying about whether I meet your standards or not.

    You have shown such expertise in addressing the detainee issue at hand that I just don’t know if I can add anything to your infinite wisdom…..oh wait….you have pretty much just whined and made stupid infantile,adjective overloaded accusations that mean pretty much nothing.

    You appear to be really important in your world,not so much anywhere else.

    Really not looking for your acceptance and from the looks of your posts,would not mean very much anyway.

    Baxter Greene (af5030)

  23. #

    #

    Bax: The Obama administration isn’t opposed to allowing detainees to challenge their detention, it is opposed to allowing them to do it in U.S. courts.
    Comment by Jackson — 9/15/2009 @ 10:24 pm

    Obama’s pledge is more for talking points and appearances than actually “change” from Bush’s successful policies that Obama has adopted:


    Hope and Change: Obama keeps military commissions for detainees

    Filed under: General — Karl @ 11:20 pm
    [Posted by Karl]
    http://patterico.com/2009/05/14/hope-and-change-obama-keeps-military-commissions-for-detainees/

    President Obama has decided to keep the military commission system that his predecessor created to try suspected terrorists but will ask Congress to expand the rights of defendants to contest the charges against them, officials briefed on the plan said Thursday.

    Of course this will put him in the same fix that Bush was in except he is dependent on his left wing base that wants full rights and trials in the US.

    Not much change though to warrant all the bragging about “restoring America’s moral high ground” that democrats are more worried about than National Security:

    The “expanded rights” Obama provides are not much. For example, detainees already had the right to private counsel. Evidence obtained through cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment was already inadmissible if obtained after the passage of the December 2005 Detainee Treatment Act. The shifting of the burden on hearsay is unlikely to change many rulings, let alone outcomes. Obama’s flunkies are trying to defend him by noting that Obama never rejected the possibility of using military tribunals, pointing to legislation he supported as a senator in 2006 — but that legislation was far more radical than what is described now.

    The elimination of evidence based on “cruel treatment” will be a big problem for Obama to since pretty much anything that makes a terrorist uncomfortable is considered torture by democrats.

    Liberal groups are already lined up against this:


    Obama Breaks Major Campaign Promise as Military Commissions Resume, Says Amnesty International

    http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=prnw.20090515.DC17891&show_article=1

    Human Rights Organization Reiterates Call for Detainees to be Tried in U.S. Federal Courts

    I bet Obama misses the days he could sit on the sidelines with the rest of the democrats,yelling and ranting the faux selective outrage that liberals are so good at.

    Now that he is in the drivers seat, he gets more and more like Bush everyday.

    Still wondering what happened to all those anti-war rallies since there has been little to no “hope and change” in the War on Terror or whatever Obama calls it now.

    Baxter Greene (af5030)

  24. Bax: Seems I read something about Obama closing Gitmo. Are you forgetting that, or merely sidestepping it?

    As I said, the improvements in applying traditional American values to the detention system have been incremental, not revolutionary. We should of course applaud those steps, even if we don’t applaud Obama, who is doing less than we thought he might in that regard.

    He still has my support, though, since I see no reason whatsoever to believe that McCain would be doing any better. We’d probably be over in Iran killing 10s of thousands as I type if McCain were elected…

    Jackson (b9f613)

  25. Jackson, here’s a traditional American value: If you shoot at me, I will hunt you down. And I won’t miss.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  26. And we would be worse off if McCain were President. The Tea Parties and 912 and all the other off-shoots may not have occurred and we wouldn’t have this massive of a cross-spectrum ground-swell to return to traditional American values. Sometimes it actually is the poison (such as BHO) that makes you stronger.

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  27. Barry O, the candidate…

    ‘”I think we should make it an issue,” Obama said, referring to the 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Boumediene et al v Bush “that said we are going to live up to our ideals when it comes to rule of law.’

    ‘Basically what it said was those prisoners that we hold in Guantanamo deserve to be able to go before a court and say, “It wasn’t me” or “I didn’t do it.”’

    ‘Obama, a former senior lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School, cited “that principle of habeas corpus, that a state can’t just hold you for any reason without charging you and without giving you any kind of due process — that’s the essence of who we are.’

    What a total joke this guy is.

    Dave Surls (bf4073)

  28. We don’t need to adopt Jake Tapper’s paraphrase of the government’s argument. The habeas corpus statute is a jurisdictional one. It does not address prisoners’ rights, it addresses the power of the federal courts to provide a specific kind of relief. It could be that Tapper’s paraphrase is accurate but that means only that the Solicitor General was being diplomatic to the Court. What the government was really saying was “You are courts of limited jurisdiction, granted by Congress, and you have not been granted jurisdiction to conduct military operations in Afghanistan”.

    nk (df76d4)

  29. As for the rights of the prisoners at Baghram, they are protected by the Uniform Code of Military Justice and they have avenues of appeal to the commanding general who can investigate their “guilt” or “innocence” and order their release.

    nk (df76d4)

  30. Bax: Seems I read something about Obama closing Gitmo. Are you forgetting that, or merely sidestepping it?
    Comment by Jackson — 9/16/2009 @ 12:45 am

    Yea, Obama wants to close Gitmo.So did McCain and Bush.

    The difference is Bush and McCain did not bash their own country with baseless accusations and claim some superior moral high ground in how to deal with the captured terrorist, then do a 180′ and adopt the very same principles that they were just calling “war crimes”.

    Closing Gitmo went from a liberal talking point to a major political fire storm that Obama does not appear to be able to handle.Much like the policies that he railed against but now uses.

    Jackson, you have sidestepped this point through the whole post.

    Mr. Hope and Change used our War policies and the security of our Soldiers and citizens as a political bat to bash the competition for political gain.
    Obama is a corrupt, hypocritical,narcissistic politician that you seem to have no problem with.
    All the “hope and change” and “smart power” nonsense is pretty much on par with Obama’s credibility and leadership ability….non-existent.

    Baxter Greene (af5030)

  31. We’d probably be over in Iran killing 10s of thousands as I type if McCain were elected…

    You say that like it’s a bad thing.

    Dmac (a93b13)

  32. “As for the rights of the prisoners at Baghram, they are protected by the Uniform Code of
    Military Justice”

    Article 106

    “Any person who in time of war is found lurking as a spy or acting as a spy in or about any place, vessel, or aircraft, within the control or jurisdiction of any of the armed forces, or in or about any shipyard, any manufacturing or industrial plant, or any other place or institution engaged in work in aid of the prosecution of the war by the United States, or elsewhere, shall be tried by a general court-martial or by a military commission and on conviction shall be punished by death.”

    The only thing that a lot of the guys held at Gitmo and Bagram are entitled to is a 15 minute trial in front of a competent military tribunal followed by a trip to the galllows.

    Comes with the territory when you don’t wear uniforms or carry military i.d.

    Dave Surls (bf420b)

  33. Admit nothing,
    Deny Everything,
    Make Counter Accusations.

    Standard liberal operating procedure

    Anyway, good for the Obama administration. The only people that will be upset with this are the muslim terrorists and their supporters.

    tyree (353f22)

  34. Jackson, you seem completely uninformed about the issues you opine upon. For example, you seem to not realize that Obama has not even set a date for the closing of Gitmo.

    SPQR (26be8b)


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