By Indy Media
May 21, 2009
In an interview with the Huffington Post shortly after Obama concluded his remarks at the National Archives, Ratner expressed disappointment and even a tinge of anger at the approach the president had outlined on detainee policy, military tribunals, and even accountability.
He praised Obama for wanting to close Guantanamo Bay, but called his overall position on detaining and trying suspected terrorists "a road to perdition," primarily because of the use of military commissions. "Military commissions are used when you want an easy way to convict people," he said. "You write up new rules after the fact. That's what military commissions represent. His history was just flawed. They were not used very often. They are used on the battlefield or shortly thereafter in a real war. "
Even more troubling for Ratner, however, was the notion of preventive detention -- which he called "the real road to hell," and compared to something from the movie Minority Report. "[Obama] said some people are just too dangerous to let go and that we have to keep them," said Ratner. "Though we'd do it differently then Bush. We will set up rules. Well no matter how you repackage Guantanamo, with all kinds of rules on top of it -- that is what he is doing, he is re-wrapping a preventive detention scheme and giving it some more due process. In the end, it still comes down to holding people -- much like Minority Report or pre-crime stuff -- for being dangerous, and that is not something that I think is constitutional or this country should be engaged in."
Report by Sam Stein. Read the rest at the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/05/21/civil-libertarian-rips-ob_n_206343.html