It's now apparent that the biggest sham in American politics is Barack Obama's pledge to close Guantanamo and, more generally, to dismantle the Bush/Cheney approach to detaining accused Terrorists. In August, 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Boumediene v. Bush that Guantanamo detainees - people abducted from around the world and shipped to our prison in Cuba - have the constitutional right to habeas corpus (a court review of their imprisonment). Then-candidate Obama issued a statement lavishly praising that ruling:
Yesterday, the Obama DOJ - as expected - filed a legal brief (.pdf) which adopted the arguments originally made by the Bush DOJ to insist that detainees whom they abduct from around the world and then ship to Bagram (rather than Guantanamo) lack any constitutional rights whatsoever, including habeas review.
The Obama administration is appealing a decision (.pdf) by Bush-43-appointed District Court Judge John Bates which, applying Boumediene, held that detainees at Bagram who are originally detained outside of Afghanistan have the right to habeas review (Afghan citizens detained in Afghanistan have none, he found). In other words, after Obama praised Boumediene as "defending the freedom that violent extremists seek to destroy," he's now attempting to make a complete mockery of that decision by insisting that it is inapplicable as long as he decides to ship detainees from, say, Thailand to Bagram rather than Guantanamo.
Obama apparently sees "our core values" as nothing more than an absurd shell game, where the U.S. Government can evade the limits of the Constitution by simply moving the locale of its due-process-free detention system.
Troops still in Iraq? Check.
Osama bin Laden still alive and well? Check.
Constitutional rights still being trampled left and right? Check.
But hey, isn't Obama so much more erudite and urbane than Dubya was? He sure is! I'm glad to see that national politics hasn't changed at all - the slickest guy still wins, and people still love him, regardless of how badly he screws up the country.