Team Obama may embrace (cooly!) preventive detention for some of the alumni after they close Gitmo. How this can legally be done on US soil is a mystery to me - I thought that was why the prison was out of the US - but then I wasn't smart enough to fully grasp Obama's nuance during the campaign. Now the explanation is crystal clear:
Even some liberals are arguing that to deal realistically with terrorism, the new administration should seek Congressional authority for preventive detention of terrorism suspects deemed too dangerous to release even if they cannot be successfully prosecuted.
“You can’t be a purist and say there’s never any circumstance in which a democratic society can preventively detain someone,” said one civil liberties lawyer, David D. Cole, a Georgetown law professor who has been a critic of the Bush administration.
Although the nation has long had limited legal procedures for detaining dangerous people who have not been convicted of a crime, the issue has become particularly controversial in the context of Guantánamo, where some detainees have been held for almost seven years without being charged.
Whether the Obama administration should push for a preventive detention law has inspired “a very hot and serious debate,” said Ken Gude, a national security scholar at the liberal Center for American Progress, adding, “I’ve had conversations with progressives who think it is a good idea and conservatives who think it’s a terrible idea.”
So this new Dem-dominated Congress is going to pass a preventive detention law that Bush never tried to run through a Republican controlled Congress in the heat of war? Hmm, and I'm the Queen of May. Yes, I get that Bush was not interested in pushing for such a law and in expanding Executive Branch authority, but still - there is no way a preventive detention law gets through this Congress.
The Captain tees of on this and related Obama re-positioning on enhanced interogation, which will never, ever be called torture after Jan 20 2009.
PRINCIPLE OVER POLITICS: Will Attack Reps run the international equivalent of Willie Horton ads after some of the Gitmo alumni resume their life of terror? Sure, but principled Dems can endure the consequences of their principled decisions, yes?