Preventive Detention in the War on Terror: A Plan for a More Moderate and Sustainable Solution   [open pdf - 765KB]

"After September 11, 2001, the Bush Administration decided to detain certain individuals suspected of being members or agents of al Qaeda or the Taliban as enemy combatants and hold them indefinitely and incommunicado for the duration of the war on terror. The rationale behind this system of preventive detention is to incapacitate suspected terrorists, facilitate interrogation, and hold them when traditional criminal charges are not feasible for a variety of reasons. While the rationale for preventive detention is legitimate and the need for preventive detention real, the current Administration's approach has been reactionary, illogical, and probably unconstitutional. This thesis explores the underlying rationales for preventive detention as a tool in this war on terror; analyzes the legal obstacles to creating a preventive-detention regime; discusses how Israel and Britain have dealt with incapacitation and interrogation of terrorists; and compares several alternative ideas to the Administration's enemy-combatant policy under a nonpartisan methodology that looks at questions of lawfulness, the balance between liberty and security, and institutional efficiency. In the end, this thesis recommends using the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to monitor a narrow regime of preventive detention only to be used under certain prescribed circumstances where interrogation and/or incapacitation are the justifications. Note: This thesis was published as a book by Cambria Press in November 2008. The book is entitled 'The Necessary Evil of Preventive Detention in the War on Terror: a Plan for a More Moderate and Sustainable Solution.' An excerpt of the thesis based on Chapter V was published by 'Homeland Security Affairs' in October 2008 [http://www.hsaj.org/?article=4.3.1]. An excerpt based on Chapters III and IV, entitled 'The Why and How of Preventive Detention in the War on Terror,' will be published by The Thomas M. Cooley Law Review in the Spring of 2009."

Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Naval Postgraduate School, Dudley Knox Library: http://www.nps.edu/Library/index.aspx
Media Type:
Cohort NCR0703/0704; CHDS Outstanding Thesis
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