The Seattle Times

Obama backs Bush: No rights for Bagram prisoners
The Seattle Times

The Obama administration, siding with the Bush White House, contended Friday that detainees in Afghanistan have no constitutional rights.

In a two-sentence court filing, the Justice Department said it agreed that detainees at Bagram Airfield cannot use U.S. courts to challenge their detention. 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 Airfield. « We all expected better. »

After Barack Obama took office, a federal judge in Washington gave the new administration a month to decide whether it wanted to stand by Bush’s legal argument.

« 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.