08.24.08 Correction Re Biden and War On Terror

In my post on Biden yesterday, I mistakenly wrote that he has supported the so-called War on Terror.  In fact, as pointed out in an excellent piece on AlterNet today, Biden has been among its harshest critics.  In the AlterNet piece, author Andy Worthington says:

Sen. Biden has . . . repeatedly cast doubt on the very notion of a “War on Terror,” declaring, in a speech in April 2008, in which he lambasted the Bush administration for making “fear the main driver of our foreign policy,” “Terrorism is a means, not an end, and very different groups and countries are using it toward very different goals. If we can’t even identify the enemy or describe the war we’re fighting, it’s difficult to see how we will win.”

Reassuringly, for those who care about the Bush administration’s assault on fundamental human rights, holding prisoners neither as Prisoners of War protected by the Geneva Conventions nor as criminal suspects to be tried in US courts, Sen. Biden has been unstinting in his opposition to the prison at Guantánamo Bay. In June 2005, he called for Guantánamo to be closed, telling ABC News that it had “become the greatest propaganda tool that exists for recruiting of terrorists around the world.”

. . .

During his Presidential campaign (which ended in January), Sen. Biden repeatedly stressed his belief in the strength of the laws that existed prior to the 9/11 attacks. When asked, “Do you agree or disagree with the statement made by former Attorney General Gonzales in January 2007 that nothing in the Constitution confers an affirmative right to habeas corpus, separate from any statutory habeas rights Congress might grant or take away?” he replied, “I disagree categorically with Mr. Gonzales. The Constitution guarantees the right of habeas corpus unless in the case of rebellion or invasion it is suspended. My National Security with Justice Act reinforces this Constitutional right by extending by statute meaningful habeas review for all Guantánamo detainees.”

By the way, Biden is about to become the second member of Congress (in addition to Sen. Jim Webb [D-VA]) to have a family member fighting in Iraq, when his son Beau ships out this fall.

©2008 Keith Berner

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