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Their essays are organized around the major tools that the United States has deployed against al Qaeda as well as the legal problems that have arisen as a result. Bennett suggest the creation of a specialized bar of defense lawyers for trying accused terrorists in criminal courts.

How should Congress authorize, regulate, and limit counterterrorism tools, and under what circumstances should it permit and encourage their use?

Detention and Denial at Politics & Prose I

The authors of this book share a commitment to pushing a reluctant Congress to play a more active role than it has to date in writing the rules of the road. Benjamin Wittes is a senior fellow and research director in public law at the Brookings Institution. Wittes offers a subtle and deeply considered portrait of a decent man who fundamentally misconstrued his function under the independent counsel law. Starr took his task to be ferreting out and reporting the truth about official misconduct, a well-intentioned but nevertheless misguided distortion of the law, Wittes argues.

At key moments throughout Starr's probe -- from the decision to reinvestigate the death of Vincent Foster, Jr. This approach not only delayed investigations enormously, but it gave Starr the appearance of partisan zealotry and an almost maniacal determination to prosecute the president.

U.S. considers releasing another Guantanamo Bay detainee

With insight and originality, Wittes provides in this account of Starr's term a fascinating reinterpretation of the man, his performance, and the controversial events thatsurrounded the impeachment of President Clinton. Benjamin Wittes issues a persuasive call for greater coherence, clarity, and public candor from the American government regarding its detention policy and practices, and greater citizen awareness of the same.

In Detention and Denial, he illustrates how U. Far from sharpening focus and defining clear parameters for action, it sends mixed signals, muddies the legal and military waters, and produces perverse incentives. Its random operation makes a mockery of the human rights concerns that prompted the limited amount of legal scrutiny that detention has received to date.

The government may actually be painting itself into a corner, leaving itself unable to explain or justify actions it may need to take in the future. The situation is unsustainable and must be addressed. Preventive detention is a touchy subject, an easy target for eager-to-please candidates and indignant media, so public officials remain largely mum on the issue.

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Many Americans would be surprised to learn that no broad principle in American jurisprudence actually prohibits preventive detention; rather, the law "eschews it except when legislatures and courts deem it necessary to prevent grave public harm. To that end, Wittes critiques America's current muddled detention policies and sets forth a detention policy based on candor. It would set clear rules and distinguish several types of detention, based on characteristics of the detainees themselves rather than where they were captured.

Congress would follow steps to "devise a coherent policy to regulate the U. As a child in small-town Oklahoma, Elizabeth Warren yearned to go to college and then become an elementary school teacher—an ambitious goal, given her family's modest means. Early marriage and motherhood seemed to put even that dream out of reach, but fifteen years later she was a distinguished law professor with a deep understanding of why people go bankrupt. Then came the phone call that changed her life: could she come to Washington DC to help advise Congress on rewriting the bankruptcy laws?

Thus began an impolite education into the bare-knuckled, often dysfunctional ways of Washington. She fought for better bankruptcy laws for ten years and lost. She tried to hold the federal government accountable during the financial crisis but became a target of the big banks.

She came up with the idea for a new agency designed to protect consumers from predatory bankers and was denied the opportunity to run it. Finally, at age 62, she decided to run for elective office and won the most competitive—and watched—Senate race in the country. In this passionate, funny, rabble-rousing book, Warren shows why she has chosen to fight tooth and nail for the middle class—and why she has become a hero to all those who believe that America's government can and must do better for working families.

Account Options Sign in. Top charts. New arrivals. The events of September 11 and subsequent American actions irrevocably changed the political, military, and legal landscapes of U. Predictably, many of the changes were controversial, and abuses were revealed. The United States needs a legal framework that reflects these new realities. Unlike Chaplain Yee, whose alleged crimes were small and technical, the two men facing serious charges of taking classified information from Gitmo both worked as terps, and neither appears to have been qualified for the front lines in the war on terror.

The first man arrested, Ahmad al-Halabi, 24, moved from Syria to the Arabic enclave of Dearborn, Michigan, when he was in high school. He was sent to Gitmo from a job as a supply clerk at Travis Air Force Base, in California, and had no training as a translator. The second alleged spy, the Egyptian-American Ahmed Fathy Mehalba, had already tried a military career and failed. The use of employees such as al-Halabi and Mehalba threatens to undermine any intelligence role Gitmo might have, says one official who speaks Arabic fluently. Many of the terps used at Gitmo were hired expediently, without proper screening.

The experience of dealing with Islamist terrorism since the early s has taught veterans in the C. Of course not. The secrecy surrounding it makes everybody think that very serious stuff is going on there. A report by the International Justice Project identifies 38 of the 42 nationalities the U. Almost 85 percent are between 20 and 40; there are three juveniles, the youngest Most detainees were arrested in Afghanistan, but others were picked up in places as far away as Bosnia, Zambia, and Gambia.

Abu Zubaydah and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed were initially interrogated at a secret location under American control in Thailand. One of these interrogation specialists tells me how he would prepare for a suspect interview. If warranted, I would dig deeper with subpoenas, wiretaps, etc. Sometimes this could take a year or two before you get to the interview stage.

Detention Policy Under Obama and Beyond - Foreign Policy Research Institute

General Miller makes it clear that he does not have access to staff of this caliber. Some seasoned intelligence officials disagree. Colonel Jerry Cannon, the officer in charge of detentions at Camp Delta, explains how it works. The most cooperative prisoners are transferred to Camp Four, where, instead of spending 23 hours a day in a metal box, detainees can sleep in dormitories, play soccer and volleyball, dine together, wear white clothing instead of orange jumpsuits, and wash whenever they feel dirty. But while Camp Four may be more humane, the system behind it, say experts in interrogation, seems almost calculated to produce misleading intelligence.

Keith Caruso, an assistant clinical professor at Vanderbilt University, is a former navy forensic psychiatrist and an expert on false confessions. You may get true information. The difficulty is in telling them apart. But it has some problems. Sometimes one suspect will supply the names of others, who will then in turn confess. They were wrongly jailed in for blowing up two pubs in England and spent 15 years in prison before the British authorities admitted their mistake.

General Miller, however, sees no cause for concern. We are very, very good at interrogation. John Sifton, a researcher for Human Rights Watch, has traced and interviewed some of them in Afghanistan. In the global war on terror, doubtful arrests are not confined to Afghanistan. Wahab and Bisher al-Rawi are brothers in their late 30s. Wahab became a British citizen, as did the rest of the family— except for Bisher, who kept his Iraqi citizenship. In November , the brothers and two other men—Jamil al-Banna, a Palestinian who had lived in Britain for several years, and Abdullah al-Janoudi, a British citizen—traveled to Gambia, a tiny state on the western coast of Africa.

Wahab went first and, working through a local agent, spent most of the money on equipment. There, however, all four men, plus the agent, were arrested by the local intelligence service. He said his name was Lee, and that he wanted to ask us some questions. He said it would take no more than four days. Instead, for the next 27 days the four were moved among a series of safe houses in Banjul and interrogated regularly—sometimes alone and sometimes together—by Lee, who was apparently a C.

Wahab al-Rawi says the interrogators accused them of planning to set up a terrorist training camp in the Gambian countryside. It was an improbable allegation. It would not be an easy place to hide a training camp. Wahab and al-Janoudi were finally released and returned to Britain.

A month later, they were taken to Gitmo, where they remain. Bisher al-Rawi and Jamil al-Banna were charged with no crime in Gambia and appeared before no court. Instead, they were spirited thousands of miles away by the U. They were, in a word, abducted. The same could be said for Moazzam Begg, a father of four the youngest of whom he has never seen from the British city of Birmingham. In January , Begg was seized from a house in Islamabad in the middle of the night. Before reaching his destination, he was able to call his father in England on his cell phone and tell him he had been taken by Americans and placed in the trunk of a car.

Begg, whose family denies he had any link with terrorism, was taken to Bagram, where he spent a year, and finally to Gitmo. There seems to be a new world order, an acceptance of utter illegality. You have all these wonderful treaties after World War II—the Geneva Conventions, bans on torture—and all of them have been torn up. Meanwhile, the camp was up and running. The Gitmo process is possible only because America has determined that its detainees are not enemy prisoners of war E.

Much of what happens at Gitmo—close confinement in tiny cells for 23 hours a day, the denial of basic comforts for refusing to talk to interrogators—would be illegal if the detainees were classified as E.

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Indefinite detention would also be impossible. In fact, the conventions do allow prisoners to be classed as unlawful combatants, rather than as regular E. None of the Gitmo detainees has ever had such a hearing. How can he be so sure? After all, numerous detainees, their families, and attorneys are contesting that exact point, to say nothing of the 64 so far released.

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  7. It also represents the quiet, and until now little-noticed, burial of a U. Central Command regulation issued on February 7, The detainee has the right to be present, to cross-examine witnesses, and to look at documents. Unless the evidence shows he does not deserve it, the prisoner must be given full E. Why does he think it was buried? Lietzau pauses. I put to him another nagging issue about prisoner detention. In Afghanistan, to say nothing of places such as Gambia, anyone not considered a regular soldier was consigned to Gitmo.

    But in Iraq the many Baathist irregulars and non-Iraqi fighters, the men responsible for the continuing mayhem of suicide bombings and attacks on coalition troops, are being treated as E. It appears that the first trials will take place in , with Moazzam Begg among the first defendants. Pentagon officials say they are confident that all of the early cases will end with guilty pleas.

    Benjamin Wittes

    Gitmo defendants will be represented by a military judge advocate, although they may also use a civilian attorney if they can find one who has been vetted for security. In spring , as preparations for the trials began, a small group of judge advocates were ordered to report to Washington to begin duty as lawyers for the defense. On their first day, they met with a group of senior officials to discuss their new assignment. The attorneys, say colleagues, expressed deep reservations, saying that to act for the defense in a military commission would raise serious ethical problems: they did not think the trials could be fair.

    That same day, their colleagues say, they were reassigned. Their objections were the same as those raised by other critics. Under the rules, any conversation between a defendant and a lawyer can be monitored, and the ordinary laws of evidence have been jettisoned. They can also use secret evidence which the defendant may not even be able to hear, let alone challenge.

    Now they, too, are encountering ethical problems. All judge advocates are also members of state bars, bound by strict professional codes. If, as the lawyers think likely, the committees determine that the rules do not provide due process, they plan to file a lawsuit in the appropriate federal court, which could derail the military commissions.

    In the case being heard by the Supreme Court, meanwhile, lawyers for 16 detainees argue that their clients are entitled to the full protection of the U. Constitution and must therefore be given the same rights as any criminal suspect. A baby born to an American there would automatically be a U. In interviews at the Pentagon, Lietzau and three of his colleagues discuss the commissions with commendable candor.

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    The answer is yes. The Uniform Code of Military Justice, the lawbook for American courts-martial, gives military convicts the right to appeal their cases to civilian judges. Their highest appeal is to President Bush, the commander in chief, whose opinion of them is a matter of public record.