Back from the brink
While I'm still processing the full import of Obama's win -- I'll blog about it more later -- one very, very encouraging item that's popped up is his intention to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay. From Spencer Ackerman:
Less than a week after his election, and more than two months before he takes office, Barack Obama is signaling that this monstrosity is coming to an end. This, I submit -- to my uncle and anyone else -- is change you can believe in. The AP, via Time:
"President-elect Obama's advisers are quietly crafting a proposal to ship dozens, if not hundreds, of imprisoned terrorism suspects to the United States to face criminal trials, a plan that would make good on his promise to close the Guantanamo Bay prison but could require creation of a controversial new system of justice."
The news that the Guantanamo prisioners will come to the United States to stand trial is, by any measure, outstanding news. The illegal dentention of War on Terra prisoners has been a long-standing affront to our collective humanity, it's beneath us, and it's high time that it comes to an end. The "creation of a controversial new system of justice" referenced above is, I think, a bit of hyperbole from the AP -- the judicial power of the United States, after all, is "vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish."
So the Constitution already provides for the establishment of courts as necessary, and really, U.S. law already provides ground on which to deal with the people in Guantanamo and the crimes for which they
are accused might eventually be accused. That they have been detained as they are, and that they have yet to be chanrged with crimes, is one of the Bush administration's more egregious legacies. Good on Obama for already signaling that Guantanamo will be closed.