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kpete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 08:38 AM
Original message
Obama Seeks Halt to Legal Proceedings at Guantanamo
Source: Washington Post

Obama Seeks Halt to Legal Proceedings at Guantanamo

By Peter Finn
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 21, 2009; Page A02

GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba, Jan. 20 -- In one of its first actions, the Obama administration instructed military prosecutors late Tuesday to seek a 120-day suspension of legal proceedings involving detainees at the naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba -- a clear break with the approach of the outgoing Bush administration.

The instruction came in a motion filed with a military court in the case of five defendants accused of organizing the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. The motion called for "a continuance of the proceedings" until May 20 so that "the newly inaugurated president and his administration review the military commissions process, generally, and the cases currently pending before military commissions, specifically."

The same motion was filed in another case scheduled to resume Wednesday, involving a Canadian detainee, and will be filed in all other pending matters.

Such a request may not be automatically granted by military judges, and not all defense attorneys may agree to such a suspension. But the move is a first step toward closing a detention facility and system of military trials that became a worldwide symbol of the Bush administration's war on terrorism and its unyielding attitude toward foreign and domestic critics.

Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...
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marylanddem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 08:47 AM
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1. "such a request may not be automatically granted..."

Hey, he IS the Commander in Chief, no? How could they defy that?
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Piewhacket Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 10:24 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. technically speaking...Obama is now the "prosecutor in chief".
but its a very troubling scenerio, these comissions... they are
not actually'judicial', but is more like the classic
'star chamber' and 'torture chamber' combined.

the word 'illegal' fleets across the mind.
everyone involved in this mockery is in grave moral
peril, not to mention possible legal peril. hey!

'military commissions'. what garbage, eh?
lets not forget Bush-whackies who created and fed this abomination.
Like Linsay Graham.

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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. UCMJ
Obama could amend the UCMJ, but for now military judges make their decisions in a special "bubble" outside of the normal command chain. This is usually a GOOD thing, since it keeps outsiders from influencing trials. Politicians, even well meaning ones like Obama, should never have the right to overrule a judge in an active trial. That sort of thing only happens in tinpot dictatorships.

Obama did this correctly. He ordered the prosecutors (who are directly under his authority) to request the extension. Unless the defense can come up with a good reason to argue against it, the request will probably be granted.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 10:32 AM
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3. Get this WaPo subliminal: Bush tough on 'terrorists,' Obama soft...
"...closing a detention facility and system of military trials that became a worldwide symbol of the Bush administration's war on terrorism and its unyielding attitude toward foreign and domestic critics." --WaPo

Disgusting, scurrilous, lying, sneaky propaganda! The way this sentence is written, they might as well be calling the critics of Guantanamo 'terrorists.' Guantanamo is a "symbol of toughness." Get it? Anyone in favor of the rule of law and human rights is a softee.

Beware! We're already seeing the old red-baiting 1950s mentality return, to try to force decent, law-abiding politicians into a killing corner--into slaughtering 'communists' (2 million in Southeast Asia, 200,000 Mayan villagers in Guatemala and tens of thousands more in Nicaragua, El Salvador and other countries in Latin America and Africa) and now 'terrorists' (1 million in Iraq; tens of thousands in Afghanistan; and an unknown number of 'prisoners' tortured and/or killed).

That's what this language means: It's to pressure OUR leaders, to set up a fascist either/or that they have to battle--a propaganda war they have to battle--within the corpo/fascist 'news' monopolies, about 'tough' vs 'soft'--a propaganda war that serves the war profiteers. President Obama fired the first shot against this stupidity, in his inaugural address, when he descried the "false choice between our safety and our ideals." This is what he was talking about. And WaPo--treasonous, warmongering fuckwads that they are--is already trying to force him into that false choice. Unless you torture prisoners, unless you suspend the Constitution, the Geneva Conventions, and numerous laws and treaties, unless you slaughter innocents, unless you are "unyielding" in your commission of war crimes, you are soft on terror.

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Barrett808 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 11:29 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. If only WaPo had said "intransigent attitude," it would have been accurate.
It will be interesting to see which media corporations come to the defense of Cheney, et al, when the inevitable war-crimes charges are brought.
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