If it were true -- as most Obama defenders argued -- that giving civilian trials to accused Terrorists is not merely a good option, but required by the Constitution, the rule of law, and our values, then isn't it logically and necessarily true that Obama's refusal to grant such trials constitutes a violation of our Constitution, our rule of law and our values? And if so, doesn't this require rather severe condemnation from the same people who defended civilian trials as necessary under our system of government? After all, if the President is violating our Constitution, the rule of law, and our values, isn't that cause for some rather serious protest and denunciation, no matter his motives?
It's true that this Post article relies on anonymous administration officials and notes that a final decision has not yet been made, but at some point, keeping Mohammed in a cage without a trial for a long enough time constitutes lawless, indefinite imprisonment whether the President formally announces it or not. We're clearly at that point. And, of course, it's long been reported that the President has decided to hold at least 50 other detainees at Guantanamo indefinitely without a trial or even a military commission. Imprisoning people without trials or even military tribunals is clearly the policy of this President.
[M]ore important, the mandates of the Constitution and the rule of law aren't supposed to be waived for political expediency. That premise was the centerpiece of the Obama campaign -- remember? As Sargent wrote:
One of Obama’s most powerfully stated principles has been his rejection of the Cheney world view -- his insistence that the choice between upholding American legal traditions and the rule of law and maintaining our national security is a false one. If Obama does decide to try Mohammed in a military tribunal, won't the implicit message to the public be that there just may be something to what the Cheneyites have been arguing all along?
But now, it appears Obama isn't even merely putting Mohammed "in a military tribunal," but far worse, simply imprisoning him indefinitely with no process at all, based on the same "war" theories that Bush and Cheney used to defend the same policy, to such great controversy and outrage.