Posts Tagged ‘policy’

Terror Policy

July 6, 2009

To Critics, New Policy on Terror Looks Old
July 2, 2009, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/02/us/02gitmo.html

Civil libertarians recently accused President Obama of acting like former President George W. Bush, citing reports about Mr. Obama’s plans to detain terrorism suspects without trials on domestic soil after he closes the Guantánamo prison. It was only the latest instance in which critics have argued that Mr. Obama has failed to live up to his campaign pledge “to restore our Constitution and the rule of law” and raised a pointed question: Has he, on issues related to fighting terrorism, turned out to be little different from his predecessor? Mr. Obama’s critics say that … the core problem with Mr. Bush’s approach … was that it trammeled individual rights. And they say Mr. Obama’s policies have not changed that. “President Obama may mouth very different rhetoric,” said Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union. “He may have a more complicated process with members of Congress. But in the end, there is no substantive break from the policies of the Bush administration.” Mr. Obama has also drawn fire from human rights advocates for fighting to prevent detainees in Afghanistan from having habeas corpus rights. Mr. Obama has also continued other Bush-era policies … like the C.I.A.’s “extraordinary rendition” program … and the invocation of the “state secrets” privilege to shut down some lawsuits. Jack Balkin, a Yale Law School professor, said Mr. Obama’s ratification of the basic outlines of the surveillance and detention policies he inherited would reverberate for generations. By bestowing bipartisan acceptance on them, Mr. Balkin said, Mr. Obama is consolidating them as entrenched features of government. “What we are watching,” Mr. Balkin said, “is a liberal, centrist, Democratic version of the construction of these same governing practices.”

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