News Release

“The Obama Justice System”


The Wall Street Journal reports today: “The Obama administration said Tuesday it could continue to imprison non-U.S. citizens indefinitely even if they have been acquitted of terrorism charges by a U.S. military commission.

“Jeh Johnson, the Defense Department’s chief lawyer, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that releasing a detainee who has been tried and found not guilty was a policy decision that officials would make based on their estimate of whether the prisoner posed a future threat.”

Greenwald just wrote the piece “The Obama Justice System,” which states: “Johnson actually said that even for those detainees to whom the Obama administration deigns to give a real trial in a real court, the President has the power to continue to imprison them indefinitely even if they are acquitted at their trial. …

“In June, Robert Gibbs was repeatedly asked by ABC News’ Jake Tapper whether accused Terrorists who were given a trial and were acquitted would be released as a result of the acquittal, but Gibbs — amazingly — refused to make that commitment. But this is the first time an Obama official has affirmatively stated that they have the ‘post-acquittal detention’ power (and, to my knowledge, the Bush administration never claimed the power to detain someone even if they were acquitted).

“All of this underscores what has clearly emerged as the core ‘principle’ of Obama justice when it comes to accused Terrorists — namely, ‘due process’ is pure window dressing with only one goal: to ensure that anyone the President wants to keep imprisoned will remain in prison.”

Greenwald, who regularly writes for, was previously a constitutional law and civil rights litigator in New York. He is the author of the New York Times bestselling book How Would a Patriot Act? — a critique of the Bush administration’s use of executive power, released in May 2006. His second book, A Tragic Legacy, examines the Bush legacy.

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167