The Obama administration said Friday that it would abandon the Bush administration’s term “enemy combatant” as it argues in court for the continued detention of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, in a move that seemed intended to symbolically separate the new administration from Bush detention policies.I doubt that there's much about which I would find myself agreeing with the former Bush minion Steven A. Engel. But I surely can't disagree with his point that what you call the people that you imprison without charges for the duration of an undeclared "war" that everybody pretty much admits will never "end" isn't very important. No, the Emperor got a few shades darker, and talks better, but the new boss is indeed the same as the old boss. But I don't think Roger Daltrey's prayers have been answered; I'm certain that my countrymen will absolutely insist on being fooled again. And again, and again, and again.
But in a much anticipated court filing, the Justice Department argued that the president has the authority to detain terrorism suspects there without criminal charges, much as the Bush administration had asserted. It provided a broad definition of those who can be held, which was not significantly different from the one used by the Bush administration.
[ ... ]
It was the latest example of the Obama administration’s taking ownership of Guantánamo, even after having announced it would close the prison, where 241 men remain.
“This seems fundamentally consistent with the positions of the prior administration,” said Steven A. Engel, who was a senior lawyer responsible for detainee issues in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel until the final day of the Bush administration.
Mr. Engel added that the term “enemy combatant” was not the issue. “The important point is that they recognize that we can detain members of the enemy” during a war, he said.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Change You Can Believe In, 17 March 2009 Edition
I was going to type "Part n," and then I realized that I have no idea what n is up to now, and I need a new system for keeping track of how the Chosen One has brought in the millenial kingdom. In today's news, we see that Everything Has Truly Changed: