Obama edges towards the right of Lindsey Graham on detainee policy

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Obama administration is considering plans to detain some terror suspects on U.S. soil indefinitely and without trial. The source of the report appears to be Lindsey Graham.

Based on talks with Obama administration lawyers, Graham says that one the proposals being studied is to seek authority for indefinite detentions, with the imprimatur of some type of national-security court. This approach would dovetail with the testimony of Defense Secretary Gates last month that there are “50 to 100 [detainees] probably in that ballpark who we cannot release and cannot trust, either in Article 3 [civilian] courts or military commissions.” But Graham apparently is skeptical about legality of the approach the Obama administration is contemplating. He wonders: “How do you hold someone in prison without a trial indefinitely?”

After all of his posturing and moral preening, will Obama come to his senses and conclude that we have no obligation and no reason to grant an unprecedented amount of process to foreign terrorists that we believe will threaten our security if not kept in our custody? I don’t know. But he may be closer to reaching that conclusion than his preening Republican counterpart, Lindsey Graham.


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