Barack Obama is disappointing his supporters once again by agreeing with former President George Bush that Afghan detainees at Bagram Airbase have no constitutional rights and cannot use US courts to fight for their freedom.
In a two-sentence court filing, department lawyers said the Obama administration agreed that detainees at Bagram Air Base cannot use U.S. courts to challenge their detentions. The filing shocked human rights attorneys.
“The hope we all had in President Obama to lead us on a different path has not turned out as we’d hoped,” said Tina Monshipour Foster, a human rights attorney representing a detainee at the Bagram Air Base. “We all expected better.”
“They’ve now embraced the Bush policy that you can create prisons outside the law,” said Jonathan Hafetz, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union who has represented several detainees.
It Is not the first time that the Obama administration has used a Bush administration legal argument after promising to review it. Last week, Attorney General Eric Holder announced a review of every court case in which the Bush administration invoked the state secrets privilege, a separate legal tool it used to have lawsuits thrown out rather than reveal secrets.