Last month, Barack Obama reacted this way to the Supreme Court’s decision to allow terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay full access to federal courts and due process under the U.S. Constitution:
“The Court’s decision is a rejection of the Bush Administration’s attempt to create a legal black hole at Guantanamo — yet another failed policy supported by John McCain,” Obama said. “This is an important step toward reestablishing our credibility as a nation committed to the rule of law, and rejecting a false choice between fighting terrorism and respecting habeas corpus.”
Obama has been such a friend to this cause that 80 volunteer lawyers for Gitmo detainees endorsed his candidacy.
With that in mind, just a day or two ago, Obama told CNN that if Osama Bin Laden is ever captured alive, he should be executed.
Obama makes it clear that the habeas corpus writ that he supports applying to terrorism suspects can be thrown out the window based merely upon 1) the enormity of the allegation, 2) if the accuser is running for public office, 3) if the accused is hated by most voters, or 4) all of the above.
This is not exactly what I’d call a consistent position on the rule of law issue, but it was not unexpected.