President Obama Should Not Authorize “Preventive Detention”

Over the weekend, reports emerged that President Obama is considering authorizing an executive order reinstating the executive branch’s power to indefinitely incarcerate suspected terrorists without due process. A disappointing continuation of oppressive Bush administration policy, such an executive order would thwart the rule of law and fundamental constitutional principles.

It is true that President Obama’s decision to close the Guant‘namo Bay detention camp may be subject to a protracted battle with Congress. However, the solution does not lie in harkening back to the Bush administration’s unconstitutional detention policies and abuse of its power. We strongly urge the White House to reconsider such a draconian and harmful measure and give us the change we were promised – an end to unlawful imprisonment and the unnecessary sacrifice of American legal values.

“‘Preventive detention’ has no place in our nation,” said Bob Edgar, the president of Common Cause. “We are a nation governed by the rule of law and we cannot simply suspend that.”