Thursday, May 21, 2009

Obama Meets Human Rights Groups; Basically Tells Them to Bugger Off

Newsweek reports about a recent meeting between President Obama and several human rights and civil liberties groups:

Fending off criticism from human rights and civil rights groups at a private White House meeting Wednesday, a frustrated President Obama complained about the "mess" he'd been left by his predecessor.

The exchange came during an hour and fifteen minute "off the record" session in the White House cabinet room that highlighted growing tensions between the president and his liberal base. While the White House session was billed as an effort by the president to listen to his critics on the left, some of them left disappointed.

According to three sources who attended the meeting, Obama reiterated his intention to retain a version of the military tribunal system established to try terror detainees and said his administration will likely end up adopting some form of 'indefinite detention' policy to justify holding some selected suspects without trial. Still, Obama brusquely rejected suggestions by some of those present that, in doing so, he was adopting key tenets of Bush era policies considered unacceptable by his liberal supporters.


The sources, all of whom asked not to be identified because of the White House insistence that the meeting was private, also said Attorney General Eric Holder sat by silently while the president curtly dismissed the idea that his Justice Department should criminally prosecute at least one Bush administration official for torture, if only as a symbolic move to demonstrate that actions such as waterboarding will never be tolerated again.

While declining to talk about any of the specific back and forth, American Civil Liberties Union executive director Anthony Romero told Newsweek he was not happy by much of what he heard during the meeting. Obama showed a "remarkable command" of the issues, Romero said. But, he added, "it is disappointing that he appears poised to continue with many of the Bush policies that have ended in failure. If he goes down that track, President Obama will find himself in the same legal morass that swallowed up George Bush."

It's pretty sad that this meeting ends with the head of the ACLU basically coming away and saying we're going to have to try Obama for war crimes one day.


JMP said...

Yeah, cause that's exactly what Tony 'I can kill off the ACLU' Romero said. 'Obama committs war crimes'. Geez Z, you can't even get the clear gist of the quotes right even when it's in front of you & you've used them. Another: FAIL. JMP

Zaid at UGA said...

It was a nice way of saying the exact same thing, but that flew over your head I see.