Obama guts law requiring military detention for terrorism suspects

Some of the better news coming out of an Obama administration that thus far has defined itself not in how it sets itself apart from the Bush/Cheney platform of Constitution? What Constitution? in dealing with the failed “War on Terror” (sequel to the failed “War on Drugs”), but in how much they two are alike:

President Obama issued an order Tuesday night laying out broad new waivers that allow U.S. law enforcement agencies to retain custody of al-Qaeda terrorism suspects rather than turn them over to the military.

The new waivers are Obama’s response to a law passed by Congress last year that requires that alleged al-Qaeda terrorists who are not U.S. citizens be held in military custody rather than being processed through the civilian court system. Key GOP senators said Tuesday night that the president’s measures raised “significant concerns,” and they vowed to hold a hearing to scrutinize them. […]

On Tuesday night, Obama issued the rules for the waivers, which are so broad that the transfer of any suspect into military custody is now likely to be rare.

“This is essentially a 3,450-word line-item veto, rendering the mandatory military detention provision mostly moot,” said Tom Malinowski of Human Rights Watch.

Glenn Greenwald noted the obvious on Twitter this afternoon: “It can be changed at any time – under this President or a subsequent one – it’s just a temporary rule“. Still, this is great news if you care about the Constitution and believe this country sets itself apart from the world in how to do things the right way. And it’s news that’ll surely send fascist, Constitution-hating authoritarian Republicans into a month long temper tantrum. That’s always a bonus.

Source: Washington Post.

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