Sunday, May 11, 2008

Guantanamo, torture, and habeas corpus

John McCain was against it before he was for it. If he'll compromise his "principles" on torture, there's nothing he won't compromise.

McCain challenged the White House by sponsoring a bill banning the torture of detainees in military custody, a move that made him a target of conservative attacks. But in a compromise with fellow Republicans, McCain allowed the bill to include a provision that removed the detainees' right to contest their imprisonment in federal court.

In 2006, he supported the Military Commissions Act, which provided military trials for some of the detainees, but allows evidence obtained through torture. In February, McCain sided with Bush by opposing restrictions on the CIA's use of tactics widely considered to be torture, prompting some human rights activists to accuse McCain of betraying his own cause to woo conservatives in the presidential race.
Hillary Clinton temporized and kept her head down. She'll acquiesce to abuses in order to stay a player.
Hillary Clinton was a freshman senator with only a year in office when Bush began to bring detainees to Guantanamo Bay in January 2002. She and many fellow Democrats in Congress said so little in opposition to the prison during those early years that right-leaning commentator William Safire accused them of giving Bush a blank check in his treatment of detainees. "Not a peep out of Hillary Clinton," he wrote.
(God, I hate to agree with Safire.)

Barack Obama, on the other hand, stood up to be counted:
"He said, 'I don't know which way this shakes out politically, but this is wrong, and you can count on me,' " said Thomas Wilner, one of 80 Guantanamo Bay defense lawyers who has since signed a public letter supporting Obama's candidacy. "A lot of people were afraid that they would look weak on terrorism. He really understood that our greatest strength is our values."
For this, he gets called un-American!

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