bludstone (bludstone) wrote in ontd_political,

Obama to Continue Bush Policy of Infinite Detention Without Trial: Welcome to Gitmo North

The Obama administration announced today that it will create a new "supermax" facility in Thomson, Illinois, and will transfer to it many of the detainees currently held at Guantanamo. Critically, none of those moved to Thomson will receive a trial in a real American court, and some will not be charged with any crime at all. The detainees who will be given trials won't go to Thomson; they'll be moved directly to the jurisdiction where they'll be tried. The ones moved to Thomson will either (a) be put before a military commission or (b) held indefinitely without charges of any kind. In other words, they'll have exactly the same rights -- or lack thereof -- as they have now at Guantanamo.


The administration has already announced that it will rely on the Bush/Cheney theory to justify its indefinite detention power -- that Congress implicitly authorized that when it enacted the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force. But because Congress has banned the transfer of any Guantanamo detainees to the U.S. for any reason other than to be tried in a court, the administration will now seek express legal authority to transfer detainees inside the U.S. to hold them without charges indefinitely.

And the super-orwellian:

Traditionally, what happens when such evidence is insufficient is not that the state just imprisons them anyway with no trial or puts them before some less rigorous tribunal; what's supposed to happen when the state cannot convict someone is that the individuals are not charged and therefore not imprisoned. But here, the Obama administration is turning that most basic principle on its head: only those who it knows it can convict will get trials, but the rest will be shipped to Thomson -- Gitmo North -- to be put before a military commission or simply imprisoned without charges of any kind.

ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero had this to say today:

The creation of a "Gitmo North" in Illinois is hardly a meaningful step forward. Shutting down Guantánamo will be nothing more than a symbolic gesture if we continue its lawless policies onshore.

Alarmingly, all indications are that the administration plans to continue its predecessor's policy of indefinite detention without charge or trial for some detainees, with only a change of location. Such a policy is completely at odds with our democratic commitment to due process and human rights whether it’s occurring in Cuba or in Illinois. In fact, while the Obama administration inherited the Guantanamo debacle, this current move is its own affirmative adoption of those policies.
(Article is full of links to PDFs and other news reports on this subject)
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