While standing in a room alongside the United States Constitution, Obama said, "...there may be a number of people who cannot be prosecuted for past crimes, in some cases because evidence may be tainted, but who nonetheless pose a threat to the security of the United States." So, for the past eight years, we have held prisoners without trial with no clear evidence of crimes committed.
He continued, "...my administration has begun to reshape the standards that apply to ensure that they are in line with the rule of law. We must have clear, defensible, and lawful standards for those who fall into this category." In order to deal with these (innocent until proven guilty) detainees, Obama says he will change international POW laws so that prosecutions can be made. Until then, these people will be held indefinitely without trial.
During the presidential campaign, both Barack Obama and John McCain were looking to align themselves with principles mandated by (arguably) our greatest president, Abraham Lincoln. Unfortunately, by breaking international law, Obama is initiating a wartime policy that Lincoln would have supported. In September of 1862, Lincoln issued the following statement:
"Now, therefore, be it ordered, first, that during the existing insurrection and as a necessary measure for suppressing the same, all Rebels and Insurgents, their aiders and abettors within the United States, and all persons discouraging volunteer enlistments, resisting militia drafts, or guilty of any disloyal practice, affording aid and comfort to Rebels against the authority of United States, shall be subject to martial law and liable to trial and punishment by Courts Martial or Military Commission:
Second. That the Writ of Habeas Corpus is suspended in respect to all persons arrested, or who are now, or hereafter during the rebellion shall be, imprisoned in any fort, camp, arsenal, military prison, or other place of confinement by any military authority of by the sentence of any Court Martial or Military Commission."
Lincoln allowed all supporters of the Confederacy and conscientious objectors of the war to be imprisoned by the military indefinitely without trial for the duration of the Civil War. Now, without any evidence of crimes committed, Obama is circumnavigating international law and our own military courts in order to hold POWs in the War on Terror without trial.
It was wrong then, and it's wrong now.