Obama claims right to imprison “combatants” acquitted at trial
By Bill Van Auken
10 July 2009
In testimony before the US Senate Tuesday, legal representatives of the Obama administration not only defended the system of kangaroo military tribunals set up under Bush, but affirmed the government’s right to continue imprisoning detainees indefinitely, even if they are tried and acquitted on allegations of terror-related crimes.
This assertion of sweeping, extra-constitutional powers is only the latest in a long series of decisions by the Democratic administration demonstrating its essential continuity with the Bush White House on questions of militarism and attacks on democratic rights.
The testimony, given to the Senate Armed Services Committee by the top lawyer for the Pentagon and the head of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, came in the context of a congressional bid to reconfigure the military tribunal system set up under the Bush administration.