Sunday, March 13, 2011

Indefinite Detention at Guananamo

Dean points out that Obama's continuation of the Bush policy of indefinite detention at Guantanamo has been met with troubling silence on the left. So allow me to opine from the libertarian/conservative perspective. I am actually troubled by indefinite detention. The opportunity for abuse is vast. Theoretically, any American or citizen of another nation who was residing outside of the United States could be accused of terrorism and detained indefinitely. The weakness of the legal position of the United States accrues to the lack of a formal declaration of war. Now we are engaged in military activity that lacks any coherent limits, so ancillary matters of a legal nature also have no limits. If a declaration of war existed, then under international law, prisoners held at the cessation of hostilities and who have been convicted of no crime would be returned to their home country. We may not much like such an outcome, but our nation is the envy of the world because of our strict attention to due legal process. It is more important to our security and our liberty that we adhere strictly to the limits on power imposed by the constitution, treaty and law than preventing a few terrorists from going free. This seems lost on some conservatives, when it should be a bedrock belief of all who love liberty.

For any on the left, who might be reading, I was critical of Bush's tribunals and wiretapping for this same reason, it constituted the operation of government outside of a legal framework. I find Obamacare to be in the same category, because it gives sweeping and dictatorial powers to the Secretary of Health and Human Services in a manner not constrained by law.


  1. Better start reading Glenn Greenwalk at He has been screaming Dem hypocrisy by the bushel fulls comparing dems response to Abama to the Republican complicity in allowing Bush to go on with Indefinite Detention.