By Dennis Loo
Contrary to his public pronouncements about taking the "moral high ground," "restoring due process," ending torture, and that "no one is above the law," the Obama administration declared on February 20, 2009 that the hundreds of prisoners in Bagram, Afghanistan being held by US forces and subjected to torture and murder since our invasion of Afghanistan, do not have the right to challenge their indefinite detentions or the fact that they have been tortured.
They are, according to this new White House, outside the law that the Obama team has made such a fetish of claiming that they uphold.
"This Court’s Order of January 22, 2009 invited the Government to inform the Court by February 20, 2009, whether it intends to refine its position on whether the Court has jurisdiction over habeas petitions filed by detainees held at the United States military base in Bagram, Afghanistan," Acting Assistant Obama Attorney General Michael Hertz wrote in a brief filed Friday. "Having considered the matter, the Government adheres to its previously articulated position."
"Having considered the matter, the Government adheres to its previously articulated position."
Having considered the matter, the Obama administration adheres to the previously articulated position of the Bush administration, despite the fact that the legitimacy of the Obama administration, the reason that so many people were overjoyed to see him elected and to see the Bush team out of office, was because they thought that Obama was going to right these wrongs and make things different. Just how wrong this idea was is becoming clearer by the day to people who are paying attention.
Obama - who ran on a platform of "change" - has, by this action, placed himself to the RIGHT of the Scalia/Thomas/Alito/Roberts et al Court and in consonance with the Bush regime on Bagram.
He has determined that change doesn't mean ending the torturous treatment of people who have been mostly incarcerated by bounty hunters (including jealous neighbors) and by Afghan warlords who seek to scapegoat innocents such as Dilawar, the taxi driver guilty of nothing and murdered in custody by beatings by US personnel, featured in the Oscar winning documentary "Taxi to the Dark Side:"
"On the day of his death, Dilawar had been chained by the wrists to the top of his cell for much of the previous four days. A guard tried to force the young man to his knees. But his legs, which had been pummeled by guards for several days, could no longer bend. An interrogator told Mr. Dilawar that he could see a doctor after they finished with him. When he was finally sent back to his cell, though, the guards were instructed only to chain the prisoner back to the ceiling. 'Leave him up,' one of the guards quoted Specialist Claus as saying. Several hours passed before an emergency room doctor finally saw Mr. Dilawar. By then he was dead, his body beginning to stiffen. It would be many months before Army investigators learned that most of the interrogators had in fact believed Mr. Dilawar to be an innocent man who simply drove his taxi past the American base at the wrong time." (The Times)
* * *
Having considered the matter, the American people who previously adhered to the position that Obama represents a “change” from Bush, hereby reconsider the matter. So much, after all, is riding on this. The Dilawars of the world are counting on us to do what must be done.