June 17th, 2008
04:00 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama responds to McCain camp on terrorist prosecution

(CNN) – Barack Obama responded to the McCain campaign’s Tuesday attack that putting terrorists from Guantanamo Bay on trial is “a policy of delusion,” noting last week's Supreme Court ruling that detainees would have the right to challenge their detention.

“The reason we set up Guantanamo is because the administration wanted to set up a black hole where there was no accountability whatsoever,” said Obama, flying back to Washington Tuesday for some time off the campaign trail. “The Supreme Court has now said you can’t do that. And as a consequence, the whole purpose of Guantanamo is defeated.”

Obama has applauded the Supreme Court’s decision that those held at Guantanamo Bay should be put on trial and in an interview with ABC on Monday, pointed to the prosecution of the terrorists responsible for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

“If [the McCain campaign] wanted to have a serious conversation about it then they would know for example that the issue of Habeas Corpus is not designed to free prisoners,” Obama told reporters Tuesday. “What it’s designed to do is make sure that prisoners who are being held have at least one shot to say, “I’m being held wrongly.””

“We don’t have to treat them in the same way that we would treat a criminal suspect in the US,” Obama later added, “but we should abide by the Geneva Conventions.”

Obama accused the McCain camp of “fear-mongering” and argued that they haven’t offered up evidence that the country will be less secure as a result of the Supreme Court’s ruling.

McCain didn’t comment on the back-and-forth at his only campaign event Tuesday, but his campaign sent around a statement from Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

“Throughout this campaign, I have been very concerned that the Democrats want to take a step back to the failed policies that treated terrorism solely as a law enforcement matter rather than a clear and present danger,” Giuliani writes. “Barack Obama appears to believe that terrorists should be treated like criminals – a belief that underscores his fundamental lack of judgment regarding our national security and judgment necessary to protect the American people."


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Michael

    Our politicians love to beat the drums about we are a nation of laws, yet it takes the Supreme Court to tell the President what the people already knew, we are breaking the laws. How can McCain or Bush ask another country to treat our troops right if they are not willing to do the same when it comes to the POW's we have in our custody.

    This is just another example of Bush and McCain's policy to the rest of the world, do as I say, not as I do. That is why we have lost respect around the world, that is why I will vote for Obama and that is why all of you who vote for McCain apparently love being alienated from the rest of the world.

    June 17, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  2. DannyCali

    I don't care what he said but when Obama get elect for President he going to let Osama go free, you can tell what's he doing right now.

    June 17, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  3. Mich

    Obama : with so many failed and wrong judgements, how can one just trust this guy based on what he nicely says or draws sweet pictures of future.

    He made friends like Tony Rezko and Rev Wright, and Farrahkhan,, and he is proud of this. The other day he felt "sad" when court gave a verdict for Tony. Why was he "sad" for a mafia ?

    Obama seems to carry a lot of invisible baggage too, its just that media has a liking for him.

    June 17, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  4. Alex

    its sickening how Bush/McCain think alike. Even if a person is a murderer, he deserves a trial, bush/mccain – animals!!

    June 17, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  5. diane canada

    Canada's role in the invasion of Afghanistan, has produced the largest number of fatal casualties for any single Canadian military mission since the 25th Canadian Brigade served in the Korean War.

    Thanks guys, can't wait till all you Hillary supporters put McSameAsBush in the White House. Kudos to you, guess I'll go offer up my first born now rather than wait till it's a done deal.

    In 2003, Canada chose not to join the United States' "Coalition of the willing" during the invasion of Iraq. The Canadian government looked at the evidence Washington presented and voted its conscience.

    Bravo, guess we agreed with Obama, smart man!

    June 17, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  6. Vig

    Here's another chink in the Obama armor – he reacts. Anyone can react to someone else's blunders and failures and present a better plan, attack it, criticize it – after the fact. As I said before, Obama belongs in a university giving lectures – which he likes to do – instead of being leader of the free world. Hillary will get my write-in in November.

    June 17, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  7. MONEY MONEY!!

    Xena...............DON'T COUNT ON ANY MONEY FROM THE hILLARY SUPPORTERS. WE DON'T WANT OUR MONEY GOING TO NOBAMA. LET HIS CHICAGO "FRIENDS" DO THE FINANCING FOR HIM.
    NOMINATION DOES NOT OCCUR UNTIL AUGUST CONVENTION. THEN WE WILL SEE WHO IS THE LAST "WOMAN" STANDING.

    HILLARY 08.....................GIVE YOUR MONEY TO SENATOR
    CLINTON........SHE NEEDS THE MONEY TO PAY HER DEBTS !!!!!!!

    June 17, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
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