• News
  • Celebrities
  • Finance
  • Crypto
  • Travel
  • Entertainment
  • Health
  • Others

Still Waiting for a Just Detainee Policy

“Has the Obama administration changed the legal rules for detaining suspects in the war on terrorism,” asked Harvard law professor Noah Feldman in an op-ed in The New York Times today, “or is it continuing in the footsteps of the Bush administration?”

As I wrote when the administration first announced it would stop using the term “enemy combatant” in a late Friday afternoon filing in federal court, the Obama Justice Department, while discarding the old terminology and giving a nod to the legitimacy of international law and the role of Congress, basically held on to much the same right of indefinite detention that the Bush administration had pronounced. Sure, now the president would have to believe that the detainees had a “substantial” connection to al-Qaeda or the Taliban, but the government’s brief provided no definition of “substantial,” and surely Bush officials would have claimed that all those prisoners — “the worst of the worst” as they were fond of calling them (and former Vice President Dick Cheney still does) — were “substantially” assisting al-Qaeda or the Taliban in one way or another.

As Feldman points out, the key will be how the Obama Justice Department starts applying this “new” non-enemy combatant category of detainee when it comes to deciding what to do with these prisoners.

If the new legal arguments actually affect who goes free and who stays in custody, then they will amount to meaningful change. Without real-world effects, though, even the most elegant new legal arguments are nothing but words.

Absolutely. But Feldman refers only to the 241 prisoners still held at Guantanamo Bay. There’s also another 600 prisoners who were deemed “enemy combatants” by the Bush administration that are being held at the American detention facility at Bagram air base in Afghanistan. Recall that the Obama administration recently insisted, like the Bush administration, that those detainees do not even have the right to habeas corpus — that is, to challenge their detention in a U.S. court. And the new administration is still hiding critical information about who is being held at the base — which is directly relevant to determining their legal rights.

The Obama administration has surely already proved itself more adept at using legal language to justify its detention policies. As Feldman points out, these were policies created by the last administration and the Obama team is now stuck trying to deal with the mess they were bequeathed, without letting dangerous people go free. The new administration is also under serious pressure from a host of Republicans who, apparently eager to undermine Obama’s efforts, are loudly proclaiming that closing the Guantanamo prison is a “dangerous” idea.

Still, Obama promised a return to respect for the rule of law, not just in word but in deed. As long as potentially innocent men remain imprisoned without charge or trial — and in the case of Bagram, without the right to challenge their detention or even speak to a lawyer — then the new administration will not have followed through on its promises.

Discussion & Comments (0)

    Recent Articles

    • Things You Should Know about North America

      Things You Should Know about North America

      Get to know more about North America.

    • Eurovision 2010 Paula Seling Unpredictable Contest

      Eurovision 2010 Paula Seling Unpredictable Contest

      Paula Seling's experience on the Eurovision stage led her to declare that "Eurovision is an unpredictable contest". Which may explain the success of the young Lena from Germany, about whom the predictions before the event did not offer much chances for victory.

    • VIPRow.me - The Best Sports Streaming Website Today

      VIPRow.me - The Best Sports Streaming Website Today

      Have you ever contemplated creating a user-friendly site dedicated to sports-related free live streaming channels?

    • Learn How To Download, Install, And Use The Xnxubd 2022 Frame App

      Learn How To Download, Install, And Use The Xnxubd 2022 Frame App

      XNXUBD 2022 Nvidia users are able to watch thousands of videos and other contents online. XNXUBD 2022 Nvidia New is a piece of software that enables people to watch videos online without having to pay for memberships. On a graphics card, the XNXubd also provides some of the best gaming and virtual reality experiences.

    • Xvideostudio Video Editor Apk Free Download For Pc Full Version In 2022

      Xvideostudio Video Editor Apk Free Download For Pc Full Version In 2022

      A new edition of the Video Editor Apk for xVideostudio.Video Studio has all the latest features, including support for multiple video download formats in HD, FHD, and even 4K resolutions.

    • 9 Best Lotion For Masturbation - Popular Choice For 2022

      9 Best Lotion For Masturbation - Popular Choice For 2022

      Masturbation is a common activity for men and women. It's a natural and risk-free way to explore your body, experience pleasure, and release sexual tension.

    • Reasons Why You Need To Stop Watching Movies From Sflix

      Reasons Why You Need To Stop Watching Movies From Sflix

      Without having to sign up or pay anything, you can watch movies online for free with SFlix. It has more than 10,000 movies and television shows.

    • Coi Leray Mom And Dad's Family History & Wife, Explained

      Coi Leray Mom And Dad's Family History & Wife, Explained

      Coi Leray Collins (born May 11, 1997) is a rapper from the United States. Leray started publishing songs to SoundCloud in 2014, and in 2018 she released her breakthrough track "Huddy" as well as her first mixtape, Everythingcoz.

    • Listen And Download Music On MyFreeMP3 For Free

      Listen And Download Music On MyFreeMP3 For Free

      Are you in a bind and looking for a place to obtain free mp3 songs? Never again will you need to bother, since this article has everything necessary to obtain your solution. Download free music from MyfreeMP3.com, one of the world's most popular websites.