In Selling His Version of the "War on Terror," Obama Is Adopting Bush's Playbook
Thu, 19 Mar 2009
In analyses over the years, intelligence officials have stated that no more than 50 of the prisoners at Guantánamo had any meaningful connection with al-Qaeda, the Taliban or other terrorist groups. By that rationale, the Obama administration should be working flat-out to release the other 190 prisoners as soon as possible. Under its own definition of “significant support” for these organizations, however, the administration has, instead, raised the possibility that, after seven years’ imprisonment in conditions that ought to be a source of shame to any civilized society, a large number of these prisoners — these “Nobodies Formerly Known as Enemy Combatants” — still have a long way to go before they can hope to see the end of their ordeal.
No More ‘Enemy Combatants’ – But Is Obama Merely Rebranding Bush’s ‘War on Terror’? Liliana Segura, AlterNet: “Words matter, as Obama said on the campaign trail. But when it comes to his detention and counterterrorism policies, his actions are speaking louder.”
[Posted By ShiftShapers]
By Andy Worthington
Republished from AlterNet
Under Obama's Justice Department, "change" means nothing more than turning "enemy combatants" to "Nobodies Formerly Known As Enemy Combatants."
Changing the names of things was a ploy that was used by the Bush administration in an attempt to justify some of its least palatable activities. In response to the 9/11 attacks, for instance, the nation was not involved in a limited pursuit of a group of criminals responsible for the attacks, but instead embarked on an open-ended “War on Terror.” In keeping with this “new paradigm,” prisoners seized in this “war” were referred to as “detainees,” and held neither as criminal suspects nor as prisoners of war, protected by the Geneva Conventions, but as “enemy combatants,” without any rights whatsoever. Later, when the administration sought new ways in which to interrogate some of these men, the techniques it endorsed were not referred to as torture — even though many of them clearly were — but were instead described as “enhanced interrogation techniques.”
The Obama administration has clearly learned a trick or two from its predecessors. In its response to a court request for clarification of the meaning of the term “enemy combatant,” for use in the Guantánamo prisoners’ habeas corpus reviews (which were triggered by a momentous Supreme Court decision last June), the new government has responded to the challenge…
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In Selling Its Version of the "War on Terror," Obama Is Adopting Bush's Playbook | Rights and Liberties | AlterNet