Update: I have posted much further documentation for the following post in a new post "Follow-up on Sources for Gitmo Prisoners Aren't 'Persons.'"
I recommend that you read "Tugging on the Torture Thread" also if you haven't already done so in addition to what follows:
If you ask most people what Obama has done about Guantanamo, most would say, "He shut it down."
Most don't know that Obama has said he might take as much as a year to shut it down.
If you ask most people what Obama has done about torture and rendition, most would say, "He's ended them."
Most don't know that Obama has declared that he will continue rendition, that he reserves the right to go beyond the Army Field Manual for interrogations, and that by not acting affirmatively to ensure otherwise, he has allowed conditions to worsen at Gitmo.
If you ask most people what Obama's done about restoring habeas corpus, most people would first say, "What's habeas corpus?"
Then, after you explain to them that habeas corpus is your right to challenge your detention, most people would say, "He's restored habeas corpus, hasn't he?"
Most people don't know that Obama has said that Bagram prisoners have no right to habeas corpus and that Gitmo detainees don't have a right to it prior to June 2008.
The latest news about what Obama is up to on these fronts follows.
Obama's DOJ pressed the Court of Appeals to rule that Gitmo prisoners aren't "persons," aren't entitled to the rights of "persons," and that if the Court does find that they are indeed "persons," then US officials who ordered and carried out torture and abuse of prisoners should be immune from prosecution for that.
The Court of Appeals found for Obama.
From Raw Story, April 22, 2009:
A Court of Appeals for the Washington, D.C. Circuit ruled Friday that detainees at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, are not "persons" according to it's [sic] interpretation of a statute involving religious freedom.
The ruling sprang from an appeal of Rasul v. Rumsfeld, which was thrown out in Jan. 2008. "The court affirmed the district court's dismissal of the constitutional and international law claims, and reversed the district court's decision that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) applied to Guantanamo detainees, dismissing those claims as well," the Center for Constitutional Rights said.
After the Supreme Court recognized, over objections from the Bush administration, that terror war prisoners have the right to habeas corpus petitions, it also directed the D.C. court of appeals to reexamine the case.
The suit, Rasul v. Rumsfeld, charges numerous Bush administration officials with "violations of the Alien Tort Statute (ATS), the Fifth and Eighth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, the Geneva Conventions, and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA)," CCR said.
"In its first filing on detention and torture under the Obama administration, the Department of Justice filed briefs in March urging the Court of Appeals to reject any constitutional or statutory rights for detainees," says a release.
"The Obama Justice Department further argued that even if such rights were recognized, the Court should rule that the previous administration’s officials who ordered and approved torture and abuse of the plaintiffs should be immune from liability for their actions."