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Category Archives: Detention

Breaking News: Guantanamo Closure Plans Are Stalled (but now it’s the Pentagon’s fault)

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at 12:03 PM

So reports the Associated Press this morning. This story stating the obvious upshot of President Obama’s doomed Guantanamo policy has a few interesting aspects to it, but fails to put Guantanamo policy in the broader context of a legal framework that President Obama has talked about putting in place, or how recent events with respect . . .
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DCCA: USG Must Respond to Detainees’ Petition for En Banc Rehearing in Hatim

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Now this is interesting. Last week, detainees Saeed Mohammed Saleh Hatim, Abdurrahman al-Shubati and Fadel Hentif together sought en banc rehearing in Hatim v. Obama, the so-called “counsel access” case. Yesterday, the D.C. Circuit ordered the United States to respond to the detainees’ arguments supporting rehearing—a summary of which can be found here—within 15 days. Stay tuned.

CRS Report on Major Court Rulings Concerning Enemy Combatant Detainees

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Monday, September 22, 2014 at 1:21 PM

The Congressional Research Service has put out a new report entitled “Judicial Activity Concerning Enemy Combatant Detainees: Major Court Rulings.” The summary reads, in part: This report discusses major judicial opinions concerning suspected enemy combatants detained in the conflict with Al Qaeda and the Taliban. The report addresses all Supreme Court decisions concerning enemy combatants. It . . .
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Jose Padilla Re-sentenced to 21 Years

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014 at 10:39 AM

U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke has re-sentenced Jose Padilla to 21 years in prison for his 2007 conviction for conspiracy to murder, kidnap, and main individuals in a foreign country; conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists; and providing material support to terrorists. An appellate court had vacated Padilla’s original, 17-and-a-half year sentence, after finding . . .
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A Cert Petition in Maqaleh [UPDATED]

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014 at 9:45 AM

A couple of weeks ago, several non-Afghan detainees at Bagram Air Force Base, Afghanistan filed a cert petition with the Supreme Court after the D.C. Circuit affirmed the district court’s ruling that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction to review the prisoners’ habeas actions. The prisoners, citizens of states not at war with the United States—such as Yemen . . .
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Detainees File Petition for Rehearing En Banc in Allaithi v. Rumsfeld

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at 8:58 AM

Yesterday, plaintiff-appellants in Allaithi v. Rumsfeld filed their petition for a rehearing en banc, two months after the D.C. Circuit affirmed the district court’s ruling that six detainees subjected to prolonged detention and alleged mistreatment at Guantanamo did not sufficiently allege that the officials who authorized and supervised their detention acted outside the scope of their . . .
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GAO: Defense Department Violated Law In Bergdahl-GTMO Detainee Swap

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Thursday, August 21, 2014 at 4:05 PM

So concludes this report from the Government Accountability Office, which apparently was written in response to a request by various Senators.  The document opens: This responds to your June 13, 2014, request for our opinion on whether the Department of Defense (DOD) incurred obligations in violation of section 8111 of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2014 . . .
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Three More Amicus Briefs in Support of Petitioner in Al Bahlul v. United States

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 9:31 AM

Yesterday we flagged two amicus briefs filed on behalf of the petitioner in al-Bahlul v. United States by (1) the National Institute of Military Justice and (2) Professor David Glazier of Loyola Law School. The day saw three more briefs filed on Ali al-Bahlul’s behalf, each presenting different arguments for why the D.C. Circuit should reverse al-Bahlul’s military-commission conviction for conspiracy to commit war crimes. (3) . . .
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Another Amicus Brief Filed in Support of Petitioners in al Bahlul v. United States

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Monday, August 18, 2014 at 7:04 PM

This morning Steve summarized the amicus brief he co-authored on behalf of the National Institute of Military Justice in support of the petitioner in al Bahlul v. United States. Professor David Glazier of Loyola Law School has also just filed an amicus brief in support of petitioner, supplementing historical arguments he initially presented in an earlier . . .
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In Trouble With the Law

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Monday, August 4, 2014 at 6:30 PM

If press accounts are correct, we will soon have the long-awaited Executive Summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee Report on the CIA detention program.  The report itself, which has not been submitted for declassification, is massive, running some 6,000 pages and including about 37,000 footnotes.  In preparing the report, the Committee and its staff apparently . . .
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David Remes on the Counsel Access Case

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Saturday, August 2, 2014 at 6:30 PM

David Remes, an attorney representing Guantanamo detainees–and, in particular, co-counsel for the petitioner in Hatim–writes in with this comment on Friday’s ruling in that case from the D.C. Circuit: The D.C. Circuit’s decision is disappointing, but in a sense it is anticlimactic. The government effectively won the case over a year ago, when the court stayed Judge . . .
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D.C. Circuit Upholds Security Policies in Hatim v. Obama

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Friday, August 1, 2014 at 9:06 PM

Today the D.C. Circuit handed down its decision in the “counsel access” case, upholding the constitutionality of security procedures instituted at Guantanamo in 2012 and 2013. The panel decision, written by Judge Griffith for himself, Chief Judge Garland and Judge Henderson, reverses Chief Judge Royce Lamberth’s July 11, 2013 ruling partially invalidating the procedures on the grounds that . . .
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D.C. Circuit Overturns District Court’s Invalidation of GTMO Procedures in Counsel Access Case

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Friday, August 1, 2014 at 10:21 AM

Here is the panel’s opinion in Hatim v. Obama, which opens: GRIFFITH, Circuit Judge: Guantanamo Bay detainees challenge two new policies they claim place an undue burden on their ability to meet with their lawyers. The district court upheld the detainees’ challenge, but we reverse, concluding that the new policies are reasonable security precautions.

ECHR: Poland’s Role in CIA Black Site Violated Detainees’ Human Rights

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Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 10:08 AM

The European Court of Human Rights (“ECHR”) today handed down a pair of judgments in long-running human rights cases brought against Poland by two U.S. terrorism detainees—Abu Zubaydah and Abd Al Rahim Hussayn Muhammad Al Nashiri.  As is well known, both had alleged violations of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, . . .
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Hobby Lobby at Guantanamo?

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Monday, July 7, 2014 at 9:39 AM

Have a look at this emergency motion for a temporary restraining order, filed Thursday by attorneys for Guantanamo detainee Imad Hassan. It opens: This motion seeks a temporary restraining order (TRO) prohibiting Respondents from depriving Petitioner of the right to participate in communal prayers during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which commenced this year on June 28. . . .
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Pre-Abu Khattala: Yunis, That 1987 Shipboard Terrorist Interrogation Case

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Ahmed Abu Khattala is not the first person to be whisked onto a ship in the Middle East by U.S. forces, interrogated aboard, and then dropped in a U.S. court. There are some recent famous cases, of course, but there are also some older ones—one of which, in particular, may have precedential value for the . . .
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Global (Statutory) Habeas After Aamer

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014 at 4:00 PM

As my co-authors and I put the finishing touches on the 2014-15 Supplement to Aspen Publishers’ National Security Law and Counterterrorism Law casebooks, I had another thought about the potential consequences of the D.C. Circuit’s February 2014 decision in Aamer v. Obama—about which I’ve blogged a fair amount previously. Recall that, in Aamer, the D.C. Circuit held that the Supreme Court’s decision . . .
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The Obviously Unconstitutional Cotton Amendment

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Thursday, June 19, 2014 at 4:30 PM

Among the proposed amendments to the DOD appropriations bill currently under consideration in the House of Representatives is this doozy, courtesy of Arkansas Rep. Tom Cotton: None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used to transfer or release any individual detained at United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, . . .
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Allaithi v. Rumsfeld: D.C. Circuit Affirms

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014 at 2:06 PM

A three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit handed down its decision in Allaithi v. Rumsfeld today, affirming the district court’s ruling that six detainees subjected to prolonged detention and alleged mistreatment at Guantanamo did not sufficiently allege that the officials who authorized and supervised their detention acted outside the scope of their employment. At the outset, Judge Brown (also writing . . .
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Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl Freed in Exchange for Transfer of Five GTMO Detainees

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Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 1:40 PM

Some wonderful (and quite NDAA-relevant) news, here reported by Talking Points Memo:  WASHINGTON (AP) — The only American soldier held prisoner in Afghanistan has been freed and is back in U.S. custody after nearly five years of captivity, U.S. officials said Saturday. The officials said the Taliban agreed to turn over Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for . . .
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