What happens this week at Guantanamo will determine whether Obama’s pledge that the new, revised military commissions can deliver internationally-recognized justice is meaningful: the pre-trial hearing in Khadr’s case will provide the first in-depth examination of whether Khadr’s treatment in U.S. custody amounts to torture; will determine whether prosecutors can use evidence against him acquired under abusive, coercive circumstances that civilian courts would never allow; and whether additional statements made by Khadr in subsequent and less-coercive circumstances are fair game or inextricable from his overall abuse.
I think it's a fair question to ask. President Obama claims to oppose torture, but has backpedaled on closing Gitmo, and his "reforms" of the military commissions have not proven themselves yet.
Coming from a Catholic perspective, it doesn't matter to me which party holds the White House; I care far more about their policies. President Obama has shown himself to be a friend of abortion providers and therefore an enemy of the human dignity of the unborn. He has promised to be an enemy of torture advocates and thus a friend of the human dignity of prisoners.
My prayer is twofold: first, that he will indeed follow through on his commitment to defend the rights of those we have taken prisoner; and second, that his commitment to human dignity in one case will lead him to recognize the dignity of all human beings - even those who are inconvenient to his political base.