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8:55AM

Despite Rhetoric, Obama Still Following Cheney's Lead in Dictatorial Justice

It seems like the former vice-president is the one piggybacking on the new president's detainee policy spotlight, but a top foreign-policy analyst argues that, when it comes to tribunals, it's the other way around: the Obama administration is maintaining the practice of inventing justice as America sees fit.

Digg it (baby!) Despite Rhetoric, Obama Still Following Cheney's Lead in Dictatorial Justice, this week's Esquire column. Go, read, vote.

My man Matt Sullivan did a masterful edit, squeezing in a lot of great quotes from today's twin speeches by Obama and Cheney (I helped some on that, but Matt inserted the bulk). The result is an amazingly timely piece, so a good call on Matt's part to assign the topic.

Reader Comments (1)

I have trouble understanding why Courts Martial would be preferable to a modified Military Tribunal system. Both involve the same basic problem - the US unilaterally imposing legal rules outside of its jurisdiction. And, we have the problem that, as I understand it, many of these detainees were not captured on the battlefield, but were turned over to US authorities by other countries or apprehended by intelligence operatives, in which case there would be no justification at all for dealing with them under the UCMJ. I agree that the ICC is really the way to go, but it strikes me that there is even less of a political constituency in favor of this than there is in favor of the other options. The right wing gets apoplectic when the Supreme Court even makes reference to foreign legal decisions; what kind of a stink do you think they would make if Obama suggested letting a "foreign court" deal with potential threats to US security. Maybe your column will help build a constituency supporting the ICC, and if you build it, I think Obama will come.
May 21, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterstuart abrams

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