Tag: Prolonged Detention

Change officially put on “Prolonged Detention”


The rule of law can be wiped out in one misguided, no matter how well-intentioned, generation

American Bar Association President William T. Gossette, 1969

   “Absolutist(s)” is the term President Obama used to describe people who expect laws to mean something. If I believe in the absolute nature of the rule of law, I am an “absolutist”. What President Obama said, in a way, is that the left demanding justice is equivalent to the right who demand immunity from the rule of law.

    President Obama, who I voted for and want to support, just said “neither side is right.”

    “If the law supposes that,” said Mr. Bumble, “the law is an ass, a idiot.”

Charles Dickins

    Of course Obama is wrong on this, because two wrongs do not make a right.

We Got Played

(Crossposted from The Free Speech Zone)

Center for Constitutional Rights President Michael Ratner and Managing Attorney for CCR’s Guantanamo project Shayana Kadidal responded with disappointment to President Obama’s speech this morning. CCR represents the detainees at Guantánamo and is part of the key FOIA lawsuit surrounding the torture photo disclosures.

Ratner and Kadidal were disturbed by the direction the Obama administration is taking on questions of human rights, transparency, accountability and the law. CCR’s Executive Director, who met with the president yesterday, briefed his colleagues before boarding a plane this morning.

Said Ratner, “The president wrapped himself in the Constitution and then proceeded to violate it by announcing he would send people before irredeemably flawed military commissions and seek to create a preventive detention scheme that only serves to move Guantanamo to a new location and give it a new name.”

Said Kadidal, “Preventive detention goes against every principle our nation was founded on. We have courts and laws in place that we respect and rely on because we have been a nation of laws for hundreds of years; we should not simply discard them when they are inconvenient. The new president is looking a lot like the old.”


Prolonged Detention: Whip Cream On Manure

cross posted from The Dream Antilles

Put in the simplest terms, the proponents of “prolonged detention” think that dressing up preventive detention with post detention procedures will make it constitutional.  Procedures= whip cream.  Detention= manure.  This will not make the prolonged detention policy palatable.  It will not preserve the sentiments behind the US Constitution.  And a debate about how many dollops of whipped cream are required will completely miss the point.  The point imo is that prolonged detention is in a single word unacceptable. It should not be countenanced. The idea should be shelved and abandoned.

The Presumption of Innocence, and other Quaint Ideals

The Presumption of Innocence, and other Quaint Ideals

Presumption of Innocence

(Innocent until proven guilty)

A principle that requires the government to prove the guilt of a criminal defendant and relieves the defendant of any burden to prove his or her innocence.

The presumption of innocence, an ancient tenet of Criminal Law, is actually a misnomer. According to the U.S. Supreme Court, the presumption of the innocence of a criminal defendant is best described as an assumption of innocence that is indulged in the absence of contrary evidence


the presumption of innocence is essential to the criminal process. The mere mention of the phrase presumed innocent keeps judges and juries focused on the ultimate issue at hand in a criminal case: whether the prosecution has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the alleged acts. The people of the United States have rejected the alternative to a presumption of innocence-a presumption of guilt-as being inquisitorial and contrary to the principles of a free society.