Obama Preparing Executive Order to Allow Preventive Detention

Or maybe not.

The Obama administration, fearing a battle with Congress that could stall plans to close the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, is drafting an executive order that would reassert presidential authority to incarcerate terrorism suspects indefinitely, according to three senior government officials with knowledge of White House deliberations.


White House spokesman Ben LaBolt said there is no executive order and that the administration has not decided whether to issue one. But one administration official suggested that the White House was already trying to build support.

Remember that meeting last month between civil liberties and human rights activists and Pres. Obama right before his big national security speech? The one where he was trying to get their support for his Guantanamo plans?

I’m hearing spinning noises coming from the White House:

“Civil liberties groups have encouraged the administration, that if a prolonged detention system were to be sought, to do it through executive order,” the official said. Such an order could be rescinded and would not block later efforts to write legislation, but civil liberties groups generally oppose long-term detention, arguing that detainees should be prosecuted or released.

I’m not the only one wondering what’s the game here:

What? What civil liberties organization actually encouraged the administration to set up a system of “prolonged detention” — the less euphemistic term would be indefinite detention — in the first place; let alone urged the administration to do it without congressional approval?


Update: Zach Roth at TPM reports that the Center for Constitutional Rights certainly doesn’t approve of the idea.

Update 2: CCR representatives say that in a recent White House meeting, they conveyed to administration officials that “any prolonged detention scheme was unacceptable, no matter how it was dressed.”

Regarding comparisons between the White House plan for preventive detention described by Linzer and Finn in the WaPo piece, and the one laid out by Benjamin Wittes of the Brookings Institution, see smintheus at unbossed.com and Mytwords at Corrente.

4 Responses to “Obama Preparing Executive Order to Allow Preventive Detention”

  1. JohnHolmes says:

    Obama, Pelosi and Co have put another nail in the Coffin of our Economy with this “Crap-n-Trade” bill. Virtually all the “warming” of the 90’s has disappeared. Some say we’re heading towards a cooling period marked by actual decreasing temperatures and few sunspots. Meanwhile all CFLF can do is publish more insignificance about Froomkin, Terrorist Detention, and the King of Pop. On the Health Care Bill apparently the Unions and Congress (of course) are exempt from the Bill. Why is Obamacare good enough for us, but NOT good enough for him or his Union Constituents?

    While Froomkin and CFLF run around naked … they liken “The Emperor has no Clothes” to Bush. What an irony.

  2. ahrcanum says:

    Having declared a Public Heath Emergency, Obama already has the powers to detain anyone he wants and I think the Insurrection Act also gives them the authority. Pray he uses it wisely…

  3. Kathy says:


    Please keep your comments on-topic. Off-topic comments will be deleted.

    Thank you.

  4. Jack Jodell says:

    This is a very disturbing and potentially ominous development for all who believe in our Constitution and western law. The devil will indeed be in the details of this order, and I can’t wait for those details!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Connect with Facebook