“The Legal Rights of Guantanamo Detainees: What Are They, Should They Be Changed, and Is an End in Sight? “

“The Legal Rights of Guantanamo Detainees: What Are They, Should They Be Changed, and Is an End in Sight? “

Posted By Greg McNeal On December 6, 2007 @ 8:42 pm In Law Blog, Counterterrorism, Criminal Law, International Humanitarian Law | 1 Comment

The Senate Judicary Committee’s Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security has scheduled a hearing regarding Guantanamo.

The witness list has not yet been posted, but the committee would be smart to invite Colonel Morris Davis who recently resigned from his position as Chief Prosecutor. Colonel Davis, according to [1] this LA Times Report, “cited what he considered inappropriate political pressures on the legal process in his decision to seek reassignment.” During his time as Chief Prosecutor Colonel Davis was one of the best advocates on behalf of the commissions, frequently making himself available to the press, and even writing a piece for the Yale Law Journal’s Pocket Part entitled [2] “In Defense of Guantanamo Bay.”

UPDATE: I just found out that Senator Feinstein’s office did invite Colonel Davis to testify. However, the Office of the Secretary of Defense contacted Senator Feinstein’s office and informed them that Colonel Davis was prohibited from testifying and Brigadier General Hartmann would instead testify in his place. Disagreements between BG Hartmann and Colonel Davis were part of what led Colonel Davis to resign. More on those issues [3] here.

I’ve previously blogged about “Politics and the Military Commissions” [4] here . There I suggested that Congress should become far more involved in the process. Denmark’s recent [5] refusal to accept any Guantanamo inmates highlights this need for Congressional involvement. President Bush will go away in 2009, but the problems associated with Guantanamo Bay will not. As the Denmark example bears out, “try them or release them” doesn’t work in all circumstances. Quite simply some individuals may be considered too dangerous to be released (or accepted by a foreign government) but not enough usable evidence exists to try them. (e.g. it’s based on hearsay, intelligence, or was inappropriately collected). It’s nice to think that if we just get to 2009 all of the problems associated with Guantanamo will go away, but the reality is that the next President will inherit this situation, and a longer term solution is necessary. Ken Anderson argues [6] here that Congress must institutionalize counterterrorism, these hearings are a good first step.

Article printed from Law Blog: http://aidpblog.org

URL to article: http://aidpblog.org/2007/12/06/the-legal-rights-of-guantanamo-detainees-what-are-they-should-they-be-changed-and-is-an-end-in-sight/

URLs in this post:
[1] this : http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-gitmo13nov13,1,428001.story?coll=la-headlines-n ation&track=crosspromo
[2] “In Defense of Guantanamo Bay.”: http://aidpblog.org/2007/08/13/yale-law-journal-in-defense-of-guantanamo-bay/
[3] here: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/06/us/nationalspecial3/06gitmo.html
[4] here : http://aidpblog.org/2007/11/10/politics-and-the-military-commissions
[5] refusal to accept any Guantanamo inmates: http://aidpblog.org/2007/08/13/yale-law-journal-in-defense-of-guantanamo-bay/
[6] here : http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=935394