Thursday, April 9, 2009

A Father's Heart Aches for His Son

In September 2006, then Senator Obama said the following on the Senate floor, while arguing for habeas rights to be restored to detainees.

. . . But as a parent, I can also imagine the terror I would feel if one of my family members were rounded up in the middle of the night and sent to Guantanamo without even getting one chance to ask why they were being held and being able to prove their innocence.

Fast forward to today where President Obama's administration is now appealing a district court ruling that provided habeas protection to some military prisoners in Afghanistan.

The Obama administration said Friday that it would appeal a district court ruling that granted some military prisoners in Afghanistan the right to file lawsuits seeking their release. The decision signaled that the administration was not backing down in its effort to maintain the power to imprison terrorism suspects for extended periods without judicial oversight.
I wonder which Obama will read this letter from a father of a Bagram detainee? Will it be the Obama who argued for habeas rights for people such as this father's son or will it be the other Obama who thinks we have the right to pluck people from other countries and imprison them indefintely with no chance for them to challenge their imprisonment?

A Plea to Obama from Father of Detainee

By Del Quentin Wilber 
The father of a detainee at a U.S. military prison in Afghanistan 
sent a letter (PDF) this week to President Obama pleading for his son's release, writing that "my heart aches when I consider the terrible and degrading treatment he has been forced to endure."

The letter comes a week after a federal judge ruled that the man, Amin al-Bakri, may challenge his detention in a federal lawsuit. Bakri, 39, is a Yemeni who was captured by U.S. authorities in Thailand in 2002, his lawyers say. He is being held at the U.S. military prison at Bagram air base.

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