The Detention Policy of a New Administration
This chapter examines America's national security policy during President Barack Obama's first year in office. It considers Obama's initial moves, such as banning torture and ordering the closure of the Guantánamo detention facility, along with his subsequent adoption of military commissions and indefinite detention. Notwithstanding some positive steps, the chapter argues that the Obama administration has largely embraced continuity instead of implementing reforms and that key components of the post-9/11 detention system might become permanent features of the country's legal fabric and political discourse. Nevertheless, it suggests that habeas corpus remains an important safeguard of individual liberty against illegal government action and the single most important check against arbitrary and illegal detention, torture, and other abuses.
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