Graham’s Closest Senate Allies Want Indefinite Detention of U.S. Citizens

Created: March 08, 2010 12:42 | Last updated: July 31, 2020 00:00

Here’s another measure of how unlikely it is that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) can actually bring along GOP votes for closing Guantanamo Bay if only, only, the Obama administration caves on trying Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a civilian court. Last week, Graham’s two best Senate friends, John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), introduced a bill presenting, essentially, the GOP response to Obama’s legal approach to terrorism. (PDF.) Here’s a sampling of what it says:

SEC. 5. DETENTION WITHOUT TRIAL OF UNPRIVILEGED ENEMY BELLIGERENTS.

An individual, including a citizen of the United States, determined to be an unprivileged enemy belligerent under section 3(c)(2) in a manner which satisfies Article 15 5 of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War may be detained without criminal charges and without trial for the duration of hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners in which the individual has engaged, or which the individual has purposely and materially supported, consistent with the law of war and any authorization for the use of military force provided by Congress pertaining to such hostilities.

My emphasis. Lieberman is constantly described as a moderate. McCain — at least once upon a time — used to buck his party and is now taking a for-it-before-he-was-against-it position on closing Guantanamo. And they favor keeping U.S. citizens detained indefinitely, a position that wouldn’t withstand a second of judicial scrutiny.

These are Graham’s closest allies in the Senate. They would be the very first people he would call to round up their votes for closing Guantanamo if the White House agrees to a deal. And they favor keeping American citizens detained forever!