indefinite detention

Obama to sign indefinite detention bill into law by Glenn Greenwald

In one of the least surprising developments imaginable, President Obama – after spending months threatening to veto the Levin/McCain detention bill – yesterday announced that he would instead sign it into law (this is the same individual, of course, who unequivocally vowed when seeking the Democratic nomination to support a filibuster of “any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecom[s],” only to turn around – once he had the nomination secure — and not only vote against such a filibuster, but to vote in favor of the underlying bill itself, so this is perfectly consistent with his past conduct). As a result, the final version of the Levin/McCain bill will be enshrined as law this week as part of the the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). I wrote about the primary provisions and implications of this bill last week, and won’t repeat those points here.

The ACLU said last night that the bill contains “harmful provisions that some legislators have said could authorize the U.S. military to pick up and imprison without charge or trial civilians, including American citizens, anywhere in the world” and added: “if President Obama signs this bill, it will damage his legacy.” Human Rights Watch said that Obama’s decision “does enormous damage to the rule of law both in the US and abroad” and that “President Obama will go down in history as the president who enshrined indefinite detention without trial in US law.”

3 Detained in Afghanistan Can Take Challenges to U.S. Court: Habeas Ruling Is a Blow to Administration

3 Detained in Afghanistan Can Take Challenges to U.S. Court: Habeas Ruling Is a Blow to Administration
By Del Quentin Wilber and Karen DeYoung, Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, April 3, 2009; Page A01

U.S. District Judge John D. Bates rejected the government's argument, first made by the Bush administration and later adopted by the Obama Justice Department, that it could detain prisoners indefinitely in a "war zone."

In a 53-page ruling, Bates said that the situation of the three detainees at Bagram air base -- who were captured elsewhere and transported to Afghanistan by U.S. forces -- is "virtually identical" to that of prisoners held by the military at Guantanamo Bay. A landmark Supreme Court ruling last year accorded habeas corpus rights to detainees at that facility in Cuba.

The ruling is likely to complicate the administration's ongoing review of detainee policies. President Obama criticized his predecessor's denial of rights to and treatment of alleged terrorists and during his first week in office ordered Guantanamo Bay to be closed this year. A high-level administration task force is studying what to do with detainees deemed too dangerous to release.

Supreme Court to decide 9-11 abuse case

http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSN1633344220080616?pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=10179

Supreme Court to decide 9-11 abuse case
Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:56am EDT
By James Vicini

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Supreme Court said on Monday it would decide whether a lawsuit can proceed against the former U.S. attorney general and the FBI director in a case brought by a Pakistani man who said he was abused in detention after the September 11 attacks.

The high court agreed to hear an appeal by former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller, arguing they cannot be held personally liable in the lawsuit by Javaid Iqbal, who was held more than a year at a Brooklyn detention center after the September 11 attacks.

The decision followed last week's landmark Supreme Court ruling that held the Guantanamo Bay prisoners can go before U.S. federal judges to seek their release, a setback for President George W. Bush.

Iqbal, a Muslim, said in the lawsuit he was subjected to unlawful ethnic and religious discrimination and subjected to verbal and physical abuse, including unnecessary strip searches and brutal beatings by guards on two occasions.