President Barack Obama faced a civil liberties backlash today after he signed a law that will allow terror suspects to be held indefinitely- even raising the prospects of U.S. citizens being sent to Guantanamo Bay.
The controversial move, revealed last night, effectively extends the laws of the battlefield to American soil. The move shows a clear hardening of Mr Obama’s anti-terror policies, and a major shift from the liberal stance that helped him sweep into power three years ago. After campaigning heavily on the need to close the controversial terrorist detention base at Guantanamo Bay, he failed to deliver when met with legal obstacles.
Now, showing that he has truly moved to the opposite end of the spectrum, he is endorsing the tools and civil powers that he once rallied against. “It’s something so radical that it would have been considered crazy had it been pushed by the Bush administration,” said Human Rights Watch spokesman Tom Malinowski. “It establishes precisely the kind of system that the United States has consistently urged other countries not to adopt. At a time when the United States is urging Egypt, for example, to scrap its emergency law and military courts, this is not consistent,” Mr Malinowski continued.
Considering he is now in the midst of running for re-election, comparisons between Mr Obama and Mr Bush are certainly not something the President wants going into the 2012 race. Civil rights groups are outraged after he dropped the threat of a veto Wednesday, meaning the bill will become a law and implement several controversial provisions, like the ability to keep all terror suspects imprisoned.
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