Confusion with “Prolonged Detention”
I listened to President Obama’s May,21st speech at the National Archives, and I also read and re-read the transcript. With all the eloquence the president is endowed, there is a part of the speech that I am sure the president can not explain to the satisfaction of many citizens.
In his speech the President said, “We are going to exhaust every avenue that we have to prosecute those at Guantanamo who pose a danger to our country. But even when this process is complete, there may be a number of people who cannot be prosecuted for past crimes, but who nonetheless pose a threat to the security of the United States. Examples of that threat include people who have received extensive explosives training at al Qaeda training camps, commanded Taliban troops in battle, expressed their allegiance to Osama bin Laden, or otherwise made it clear that they want to kill Americans. These are people who, in effect, remain at war with the United States. As I said, I am not going to release individuals who endanger the American people. Al Qaeda terrorists and their affiliates are at war with the United States, and those that we capture – like other prisoners of war must be prevented from attacking us again. “
As a person who is not well versed with legal mumbo jumbo, I must ask the president,
- Why can’t they be tried? Is there evidence?
- Don’t you believe that anyone accused of crimes should be tried?
- How would you know they are dangerous, if they are not tried? And may I be permitted to ask as to what happened to your new “ era of respecting human rights”?
One of the brightest minds in U.S. media, Rachel Maddow of MSNBC, I think has defended the U.S. constitution aptly. In her awe of the Obama’s speech, she asks, “how can a president speak the kind of poetry president Obama does about the rule of law, and call for the power to indefinitely, preventively imprison people because they might commit crimes in the future. How could these two things co-exist in the same person?”
Ms. Maddow, the answer may be found in “ double speak”.
It is certain, Obama’s speech has upset human rights groups and constitutional scholars. It has also gained the support of Senator McCain, who says that he is “pleased”. Mr. Ari Fleischer, who was George W Bush’s first press secretary, wants Obama to admit that he was wrong in “criticizing” president Bush during the campaign, since Obama is “following the same path President Bush pursued”. It is also possible, that a number of dictators throughout the world must be paying close attention to the new Obama policy of “prolonged detention”.