The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

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

Last updated: July 31, 2020 | March 08, 2010 | Katharine Tate

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:


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!

Katharine Tate | I’m a native of Massachusetts, where I earned bachelor's degrees in Health: Science, Society, and Policy and Sculpture from Brandeis University. I enjoy assisting and inspiring women in all aspects of their lives, and I consider myself a partner in their OB an GYN treatment. I particularly enjoy forming relationships with young women and assisting them in determining their healthcare needs and goals. I love to travel, create metal and fiber art, cook, and spend time outside. Also, I’m fluent in both German and American Sign Language.

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