Friday: Fairwell to Habeas Corpus, Greenwald on Obama’s Win on Indefinite Detention

(8PM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)

This is a must read review in Salon of today’s court ruling on “Boumediene vs Bush”  written by Glenn Greenwald, which gives the history of the creation of Bush’s prison gulag in 2006 with the Military Commissions Act, and background and then says:

  Congratulations to the United States and Obama for winning the power to abduct people anywhere in the world and then imprison them for as long as they want with no judicial review of any kind.  

If you’re secretly kidnapped by, say,  a military for profit contractor and shipped off to Gitmo, the Bush DOJ contended that the detainee under Boumediene has a right to a hearing (when they get “around to it,” years later, if you survived the torture) but when you’re secretly kidnapped by Only God Knows What or Who and shipped off to Bagram’s Secret little hell holes in Afghanistan, then the non existent detainee has no rights to any such kind of hearing.  


 In other words, the detainee’s Constitutional rights depends on where the Government decides to drop them off to be encaged.  One of the first acts undertaken by the Obama DOJ that actually shocked civil libertarians was when, last February, as The New York Times put it, Obama lawyers “told a federal judge that military detainees in Afghanistan have no legal right to challenge their imprisonment there, embracing a key argument of former President Bush’s legal team.”

But last April, John Bates, the Bush-43-appointed, right-wing judge overseeing the case, rejected the Bush/Obama position and held that Boumediene applies to detainees picked up outside of Afghanistan and then shipped to Bagram.  

But which Bagram are they being shipped to ?  The known Bagram Prison, or the one Gen McChrystal’s Secret Special Forces and the CIA and Blackwater Xe’s operations aren’t admitting the existence of ?  

The BBC broke the story on the Red Cross confirming the secret jail within the jail of Bagram on Tues May 11th.…

  By the way, the one they admit to having, it’s called the Detention Facility in Parwan.   The one they don’t admit exists, the former prisoners interviewed by the Red Cross are calling the Tor Jail, which translates as “black jail”  

Tor Jail.  Tor – ture.  Easier to remember that way.  

Does one believe the MSM’s Marc Ambinder’s version at the Atlantic, or are we being fed another line of spin ?…

Jeremy Scahill:

Today Marc Ambinder has a big scoop over at The Atlantic. According to defense and administration sources, Ambinder reports, the “classified interrogation facility for high-value detainees” is actually run by the Defense Intelligence Agency’s  Defense Counterintelligence and Human Intelligence Center (DCHC). “They perform interrogations for a sub-unit of Task Force 714, an elite counter-terrorism brigade,” Ambinder writes. “Intelligence gleaned from these interrogations has often led to some of the military’s highest profile captures. Usually, captives are first detained at one of at least six classified Field Interrogation Sites in Afghanistan, and then dropped off at the DIA facility — and, when the interrogators are finished, transferred to the main prison population at the Bagram Theater Internment Facility.”  

The DCHC, according to Ambinder, “has absorbed staff from the the now largely disbanded Strategic Support Branch, which provided CIA-like intelligence services to ground combat units. The DCHC also performs some of the work that the  Counterintelligence Field Activity (CIFA), which was accused of spying on American political groups, used to do. Many of the staff, civilian and military, as well as many contractors, previously worked with CIFA.”

Acronym overload.  Remember when CIA meant ‘secret spook’ and pretty much covered everything?  Now, with mercenary contractors, we have increasing large bands of capital letters running around in airplanes to foreign airports with mystery cargo, saving us from a Halliburton loosing profits.

Oh, our old friends Counterintelligence, aka cointel pro, now it’s CIFA.   Hello darkness, our old friends.


Back to Greenwald:

When the Boumediene decision was issued in the middle of the 2008 presidential campaign, John McCain called it “one of the worst decisions in the history of this country.” But Obama hailed it as “a rejection of the Bush Administration’s attempt to create a legal black hole at Guantanamo,” and he praised the Court for “rejecting a false choice between fighting terrorism and respecting habeas corpus.”  Even worse, when Obama went to the Senate floor in September, 2006, to speak against the habeas-denying provisions of the Military Commissions Act, this is what he melodramatically intoned:  

“As a parent, I can also imagine the terror I would feel if one of my family members were rounded up in the middle of the night and sent to Guantanamo without even getting one chance to ask why they were being held and being able to prove their innocence. . . .

By giving suspects a chance — even one chance — to challenge the terms of their detention in court, to have a judge confirm that the Government has detained the right person for the right suspicions, we could solve this problem without harming our efforts in the war on terror one bit. ”  

Can you smell the hypocrisy?  How could anyone miss its pungent, suffocating odor?  Apparently, what Obama called “a legal black hole at Guantanamo” is a heinous injustice, but “a legal black hole at Bagram” is the Embodiment of Hope.  And evidently, Obama would only feel “terror” if his child were abducted and taken to Guantanamo and imprisoned “without even getting one chance to ask why and prove their innocence.”  But if the very same child were instead taken to Bagram and treated exactly the same way, that would be called Justice — or, to use his jargon, Pragmatism.  And what kind of person hails a Supreme Court decision as “protecting our core values” — as Obama said of Boumediene — only to then turn around and make a complete mockery of that ruling by insisting that the Cherished, Sacred Rights it recognized are purely a function of where the President orders a detainee-carrying military plane to land?

Greenwald points out that this decision by the DC Circuit Court of Appeals is going to be appealed to the Supreme Court, probably a Supreme Court with Elena Kagan as a new Justice.  But she would have to recuse herself because she was the current Administration’s Solicitor General under which the case was argued.

This would flip the Court’s “balance.”  

No wonder the Republican Party and the PNAC crowd is so very fond of nominee Elena Kagan.

I would, since the US military has vowed to “investigate” the allegations, start wondering out loud, at this point in time, where they’re shipping those prisoners who don’t legally exist, and who won’t get a hearing, off to next, and by chance, is it to Pakistan ?  Or somewhere more exotic ?


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  1. …. a shiny new slogan, you’re not paying attention.  

    • Edger on May 22, 2010 at 01:10

    … a shiny new slogan, you’re a mark to be suckered again.

  2. See: Obama Supports Kennedy Killers and Opposes All Progressives


    Obama’s Policies Don’t Require Photoshop.


    Bombs, Occupations, Foreign Bases, Torture, Indefinte Detentions, Wiretappings, Assasinations, Drones, and Endless WAR … is What This Tyrant Represents.

    Dr Martin L. King Would Not Vote For or Respect Obama!

  3. Reading his statements previous to being elected, it appears Obama was a Trojan Horse, under the guise of a moderate liberal we have a president who embraces the rationale and instruments of totalitarian regimes.

  4. Alan Grayson: The War Is Making YOU Poor Act

    Sign The Petition!!

  5. noise of our historical aeon and sees the American experiment developing naturally from the Mesopotamian, Graeco Roman and Judeo Christian penumbra. Sapien consciousness is fixed on hierarchical ordering as a natural condition, the current Anglo American cultural hegemony being no different. With the crushing of indigenous peoples worldwide, just a few generations ago, modern sapien is now exclusively breeding with itself.

    Sure, there is an enlightened subset of earthlings who wholly reject the Machiavellian/Cartesian material order of things, but the vast majority of people drive the hydro-petroleum-electronic interconnected synaptic highways without offramps.

    Our great literature is of the supermarket checkout stand genre, and our visual arts is based upon televised, schizoid programming. Just think. We use the word program.

    And as Walter Cronkite used to say (on his news program), “That’s the way it is.”  Is it?

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