2 min read

Obama to take a stand on detainee rights early

Late next month we’ll know where Obama stands on one of the most contentious actions of Bush; that the US can indefinitely detain anyone deemed a ‘terrorist’ without charge. He’ll make his thoughts known in a brief due February 20th which will address the specific case of a student from Qatari, who has been held on our mainland since December 2001. “Just a month after President-elect Barack Obama takes office, he must tell the Supreme Court where he stands on one of the most aggressive legal claims made by the Bush administration — that the president may order the military to seize legal residents of the United States and hold them indefinitely without charging them with a crime. The new administration’s brief, which is due Feb. 20, has the potential to hearten or infuriate Mr. Obama’s supporters, many of whom are looking to him for stark disavowals of the Bush administration’s legal positions on the detention and interrogation of so-called enemy combatants held at Navy facilities on the American mainland or at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. During the campaign, Mr. Obama made broad statements criticizing the Bush administration’s assertions of executive power. But now he must address a specific case, that of Ali al-Marri, a Qatari student who was arrested in Peoria, Ill., in December 2001. The Bush administration says Mr. Marri is a sleeper agent for Al Qaeda, and it is holding him without charges at the Navy brig in Charleston, S.C. He is the only person currently held as an enemy combatant on the mainland, but the legal principles established in his case are likely to affect the roughly 250 prisoners at Guantánamo.” This seems pretty cut and dry to me, we have rights in this country and Bush ignored them; it’s time for Obama to make a clean break and stand up for what this country was founded on.