- Category: Imperialism & War
- Created on Sunday, 19 September 2010 10:00
- Written by John Steele
Many thought that the Obama White House would take a very different stance on the overt and systematic violation of human rights which had become infamous policy in the US "war on terror" under G.W. Bush. Instead, aside from a cosmetic banning of "enhanced interrogation techniques" and an unfulfilled pledge to close the notorious Guantanamo facility, Obama has directly continued Bush-era "anti-terrorism" policies, and has strongly fought in court any challenges to these policies, as well as any calling-to-account of Bush administration figures for their open advocacy and administration of torture, kidnapping, secret dentention and indefinite imprisonment.
The pattern is quite consistent in case after case. Yes, the Guantanamo detention center is announced as "to be closed" (it had long become public relations disaster for the US in the world), but this administration, equally with the last, continues to claim the right to hold people indefinitely without charge or trial. Obama has, further, continued the Bush policy of arguing (successfully) in legal actions that Guantanamo prisoners and ex-prisoners have no rights to sue over their torture or other abuse. In fact, in arguing against the prosecution of notorious Bush administration lawyer John Yoo, whose memos argued for Presidential authority to authorize virtually any action, including torture, Obama administration lawyers endorsed in court the Bush-era argument that courts should not review or intervene in Presidential decision-making.
It should be clear that the question is not only the prosecution of Bush administration figures. As one article summed it up, law professor, said the lawsuit might force onto the table greater discussion of what the administration is doing and why it believes its actions are lawful.
“Of course, that defense doesn’t have to take place in a courtroom,” he said. “But where U.S. citizens are involved as targets, you have to anticipate that it may not be possible to entirely avoid putting the question before a judge to some extent.”