Three different judges, all of them appointed by Dubya, have now rejected arguments from the Justice Department concerning executive authority to deal with detainees. What makes this ironic is that these same arguments pretty much got a pass when Dubya was president.
Legal analyist Jonathan Turley says:
It took a while for the courts to turn on George Bush. Obama’s not getting that same period. The fact that these are Republican appointees tends to add an exclamation point to their decisions.
Don’t get me wrong, I completely agree that the executive branch overstepped their bounds during Bush’s presidency, but I wish that these judges had figured that out a long time ago. As it is, Bush has created a very sticky problem for Obama. We now have people who we have been holding illegally for a very long time. Some are almost certainly innocent, but after being abused or even tortured now probably hate the US enough to become terrorists. And those who were already terrorists probably cannot be tried because evidence has been tainted by torture and other screw-ups.
So not only have we probably created more terrorists, we can’t prosecute the guilty. And if we end up releasing these people (guilty or not) and even one of them commits a terrorist act, I’m sure Cheney and the neocons are going to blame Obama for making us less safe, even though it is Republican judges who are now telling Obama that he cannot hold these people.
Irony isn’t always funny.