Human Rights Groups: Obama’s Policies Mimic The Bush Administration

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Human Rights Watch–which was represented at the big White House national security meeting yesterday–thinks the Obama speech was a bunch of window dressing.

“President Obama is absolutely right to emphasize that ignoring our values undermines rather than enhances America’s security,” said HRW executive director Kenneth Roth. “But allowing detention without trial creates a dangerous loophole in our justice system that mimics the Bush administration’s abusive approach to fighting terrorism.”

That’s strikingly similar to language used by the executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, who, after yesterday’s meeting, declared, “I don’t see meaningful differences between these detention policies and those erected by President Bush.”HRW is also concerned about the administration’s approach to investigating and prosecuting Bush-era torture policies. They want Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder to commit to a real inquiry.

“It’s not good enough to prosecute a few low-level officials while ruling out a truth commission to investigate senior officials who planned and authorized the policy of abuse and torture,” Roth said.

Apparently, though, Obama doesn’t want any part of that, and the Attorney General knows it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com
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