Thursday, February 21, 2008

A WORD ABOUT OBAMA

--Many have asked me why I did not sign on to the letter by some of the Guantanamo attorneys who are supporting Obama so I would like to take a moment to explain why I could not put my name on that document.
Obama has potential and of course I will vote for him if he is the democratic candidate butObama is NOT the poster child for doing the right thing for the men at Guantanamo. Let me start out by saying that I am from Illinois and when he ran for senate I worked on his behalf… it was exciting when he won that hotly contested senate seat… and then he went to the senate...
His very first vote was for Condi Rice and it went down hill from there… He later voted for either Roberts or Alito (for the Supreme Court) and the outcry from his constituents seemed to give him pause on the other ….
Most importantly he voted for the Detainee Treatment Act (DTA)…. That was the first attempt by congress to do away with habeas corpus...
The list goes on. His official mentor was Liebermann….until Liebermann lost the democratic nomination for his own senate seat.
I met up with Obama at a luncheon/fundraiser in Chicago in the late spring of 2006 (before he decided to run for president) I asked him if he heard a deep sigh coming from the people of Illinois every time he voted… He looked at me in surprise and I started ticking off the things he voted for… and against…. that were very disappointing… (I remembered many of them at that time..)
When I got to the DTA I said to him “I can’t believe that you, as a civil rights attorney yourself, would vote to take away the writ of habeas corpus”and his unfortunate response was “it was going to pass anyway”… I was quite shocked that he made that statement and asked him if that was his "new standard" ... anyway the conversation went downhill from there (ok maybe it wasn’t exactly uphill at any point…)

We all vote need to vote our conscience …. Or, if nothing else... pragmatically….

ButObama should not be held up to what he isn’t and he should not be portrayed as some kind of hero for the gitmo detainees…
by the way Obama did not even bother to show up for the ban on waterboarding a week ago….
Best regards,
Candace

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

butObama is NOT the poster child for doing the right thing for the men at Guantanamo


Which presidential candidate (McCain or Clinton) is best for the people at Guantanamo, if Obama is not?

The Law Office of H. Candace Gorman said...

There is no poster child... that is not my point... the point is that he does not deserve any sort of recognition that suggests he is better on this issue then any of the other candidates... he isn't.

ladybroadoak said...

I am so very glad that a person of integrity is fighting for those tortured souls in Guantanamo.

My hats of to you Candance.

I suspect many do not say this to YOU, but should - I am so sorry that you must go through the TORTURE of being an advocate, too. I know how very hard that can be.

Please keep sticking up for your clients and keep on telling the truth the way it IS.

I do my best to spread the word about the real international law on my blog - that's the least I can do. I encourage anyone who runs across this to take the WAR CRIMES swicki off my blog, and pass it around. It is my fervant prayer that some day the WAR CRIMALS are held accountable at the ICC and America returns to the rule of law. And for that I stand accountable.

I am also spreading announcement of the need for those letters as far and wide as I can. It's about time people starting doing the RIGHT THING.

All my best, Candace
I am with you.

Virginia

Freedom Rider said...

Thank you for making me aware of one more reason to be unimpressed with Obama.

Anonymous said...

I realize this was not your main focus; however, Obama voted against both Alito and Roberts

http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=109&session=2&vote=00002

http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=109&session=1&vote=00245

The Law Office of H. Candace Gorman said...

You are right... he did vote against both... That is what happens when I rely on my memory!... but when I saw your post and reviewed his voting record I became even more disenchanted with his voting record.... and the things he didn't bother to show up for...
the funny thing is that I am certain I gave Obama a hard time about a supreme court vote that he made and he didn't correct me... so I made a mistake and so did he....
but back to the real point of my post.... He is not someone who should be held up as fighting for the rights of the guantanamo prisoners...

Anonymous said...

Who in your opinion, out of the Democratic presidential candidates that have since left the race, do you think would have been best for the men at Guantanamo?

Thanks for your blog, Candace.

- Jennifer, in Australia.

MKSinSA said...

Well, actually, much more than your memory is flawed. While he did vote for the bill itself (as did also Clinton and author McCain), he alone of the three was an original co-sponsor of a March 2007 amendment submitted by Republican Arlen Spector that specifically granted habeas corpus to foreigners. It was defeated 51-48, and resubmitted in July only to be withdrawn in the Senate.

The work you are doing on behalf of your detainee clients is laudable; however, it is disingenuous to paint an incredibly simplified and arguably false picture using such flawed reasoning. It likely explains why 85 of your fellow detainee attornies thought otherwise. I only hope your logic is considerably better when used on behalf of your clients.

Candace Gorman said...

Less than 100 attorneys signed the petition... out of the more than 600 attorneys that have or are representing prisoners at guantanamo. The fact that Obama... a year and a half later (and after he decided to run for president) signed on to the spectre habeas restoration act still does not make him the poster child for doing the right thing for the men at guantanamo.

guevara said...

I have limited legal and moderate medical knowledge but I have often considered “equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death” to be a weakness which could be legally exploited in attacking the perpetrators of torture. To the best of my knowledge most forms of organ failure in themselves are painless (although most people would logically think this not to be the case). Heart failure (as opposed to a heart attack) is painless. Liver and kidney failure per se are painless. Impairment of bodily function secondary to for example a stroke is painless. Death itself,one would expect to be completely painless.
On the basis of this, perhaps a legal case could be made that no pain should be inflicted at all on any prisoners.
Is this a reasonable legal argument, Candace?