When the War Doesn't End: Detainees in Legal Limbo   [open pdf - 3MB]

From the abstract: "War on terror legislation still has the power to allow U.S. and foreign citizens to be detained anywhere, and to be held indefinitely. On April 25, the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to review 'Hedges v. Obama,' a case that challenged the judicial precedence on which such security detentions are based. The authors argue that holding indefinitely those with no proven link to terrorism put s the security of U.S. citizens at risk and compromises U.S. leadership. First, in a war with no foreseeable end, such a policy puts the United States in the position of detaining and holding persons for decades. This practice is impractical and legally questionable. Second, it jeopardizes relationships with allies who can assist America in responding to terrorism. Third, such policies have left a lack of legal clarity for how detainees should be treated while they are waiting to be charged or released. Fourth, the policy is costly for the U.S. military and diverts funds and focus from other national security priorities. The military and Congress have put helpful accountability mechanisms in place to ensure that indefinite detention will end. As long as the judicial precedent for indefinite detentions and the war on terror legislation is allowed to stand, however, detainees remain in legal limbo."

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