08 July 2009

meet the new boss—same as the old boss (?)

I’ll admit it—I’m beginning to wonder if Barack Obama’s fine words on torture and the rule of law weren’t just that: fine words. He has spoken eloquently about a choice between our values and our security being a false one. The change we had hoped for, so far, has largely been cosmetic. On his TV show, Bill Maher recently wondered when these changes were going to start taking place. I was wondering about that myself in March.

In some ways, Obama is taking the Bush playbook on indefinite detention and running with it. Jeh Johnson, Department of Defense General Counsel, stated yesterday that it is a “policy question” whether acquitted individuals will be released or held indefinitely.

It’s already a perversion of justice that we’ve jailed hundreds of people for years without charging them with anything. But now the Obama White House seems to be saying that even if those caught up in the Bush dragnet are in fact put on trial—and then acquitted—they can be sent right back to prison. That hearkens back to the bad old days of the Soviet Union.

I haven’t given up on Barack. Like all of us, he needs encouragement to do what is right. He needs our prayers (as well as the members of Congress)!

No comments: