The AP reported today that the Obama Administration is changing terminology.
The Obama administration said Friday that it is abandoning one of President George W. Bush's key phrases in the war on terrorism: enemy combatant. The Justice Department said in legal filings that it will no longer use the term to justify holding prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.
But that won't change much for the detainees at the U.S. naval base in Cuba _ Obama still asserts the military's authority to hold them.
That's fine. He can call them whatever he wants, and the longer he keeps them in Gitmo, the better.
What concerns me, however, is this paragraph farther down in the article:
There are some changes in legal principles in Obama's stance. The Justice Department said authority to hold detainees comes from Congress and the international laws of war, not from the president's own wartime power as Bush had argued.
This is a sea change. A polar shift. A quantum leap.
President Obama, as Commander in Chief, has the constitutional duty to prosecute war and command the military. And yet he as just abdicated his authority over the captives of war to the US Congress and international law. This is unconstitutional, and it's a dangerous precedent to set, because it puts the safety and the sovereignty of the USA in the hands either of idiot politicians or those of nations that don't have our best interest at heart. Neither of these should be allowed to be in a position to hamstring our military's ability to prosecute a war.
Let's hope this new policy is challenged and is thoroughly discredited by the US Supreme Court.