Skip to content

Category Archives: Detention

A Reply to Steve Vladeck and Raha Wala

By
Monday, January 26, 2015 at 6:13 PM

Both Steve Vladeck and Raha Wala have penned responses to my post of last week complaining of the quality of the “Close Guantanamo” debate. I will react very briefly to each. I am, I confess, not sure how to respond to Steve’s post, since it seems to be responding to something I did not write. Says Steve, The fundamental problem with Ben’s . . .
Read more »

What the Detention Policy Debate Really Is About

By
Monday, January 26, 2015 at 2:16 PM

Ben bemoans the state our nation’s current debate over Guantanamo as “terrible,” observing that “the arguments about Guantanamo are nearly all wrong, disingenuous, irrelevant, or just plain dumb.”  It’s true that Guantanamo—like most political issues—sometimes takes on a special kind of inside-the-beltway rhetorical flavor that can really annoy the wonks, who would much rather focus . . .
Read more »

Thoughts on the Al-Marri Release

By
Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 10:28 AM

In October 2009, Ali Saleh Al-Marri was sentenced to more than eight years in prison under a plea deal the Al Qaeda sleeper agent had struck with federal prosecutors. Quietly, on January 16, Al-Marri was released—having served just over five years of his time. Reports the Washington Post: Ali Saleh Mohammad Kahlah al-Marri, 49, was released from a maximum . . .
Read more »

A Return of the Executive Branch Ban on GTMO Transfers to Yemen?

By
Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 9:51 AM

From this ABC/Associated Press piece: In another challenge to President Barack Obama’s efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay prison, a ban on transferring detainees to Yemen has been effectively pushed back into place because of security concerns in the volatile Middle Eastern nation, administration officials say. While Obama approved sending detainees back to Yemen nearly two . . .
Read more »

The French Response to Terror: Counterterrorism Detention and Prosecutions Across the Atlantic

By
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at 12:15 PM

In the aftermath of the Paris terror attacks on Charlie Hebdo and a kosher grocery, Western European security forces unleashed a dizzying storm of arrests and prosecutions and announced “exceptional” new measures to combat terrorism. In the space of just a few days, dozens of suspects were detained in Belgium, France and Germany, many of whom were questioned for days without . . .
Read more »

Text of Senator Ayotte’s GTMO Transfers Bill

By
Tuesday, January 13, 2015 at 2:20 PM

As promised, here it is. The rather unfortunate-seeming proposal provides, in full: 114TH CONGRESS 1ST SESSION S.__ To extend and enhance prohibitions and limitations with respect to the transfer or release of individuals detained at United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and for other purposes. IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES Ms. AYOTTE (for herself, Mr. GRAHAM, . . .
Read more »

A New Bid to Restrict GTMO Transfers

By
Tuesday, January 13, 2015 at 12:58 PM

The  proposal, put forth today by Senator Kelly Ayotte and others, comes as no real surprise. The Hill reports: Republican senators unveiled a new bill Tuesday to stop President Obama from releasing more detainees from Guantanamo Bay. “Now is not the time to be emptying Guantanamo,” said Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), who introduced the bill. The president is . . .
Read more »

Law Enforcement as a Counterterrorism Tool

By
Monday, January 12, 2015 at 10:39 AM

As I read the exchange between Bryan, Wells and Jack about law enforcement versus military methods of dealing with terrorism, I was reminded of a speech I gave at the Brookings Institution in 2010, which was later turned into an article.  And, perhaps not surprisingly, I found that I continue largely to agree with myself, . . .
Read more »

On War and Crime

By
Saturday, January 10, 2015 at 12:00 PM

Yesterday at Lawfare, Bryan Cunningham sought to breathe new life into the “military versus law enforcement” debate over terrorism, along the way deeming the horrific assaults in Paris to be “consequences” of France’s police-centric strategy. He thus finds fault with the current counterterrorism regime generally, and invites others to join in a broader discussion about . . .
Read more »

Cliff Sloan on Closing Guantanamo

By
Tuesday, January 6, 2015 at 12:12 PM

Worth flagging: yesterday’s New York Times opinion piece, which was published in the wake of Sloan’s departure from the State Department last month.  The op-ed begins: WASHINGTON — WHEN I began as the State Department’s envoy for closing the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, many people advised me that progress was impossible. They were wrong. In the . . .
Read more »

Senator Feinstein on Anti-Torture Reforms

By
Monday, January 5, 2015 at 2:43 PM

On December 30, the outgoing Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Senator Dianne Feinstein, sent a letter to the White House. The document—which was released earlier today—overviews a number of proposed reforms to U.S. interrogation, detention and other practices, the idea being to give effect to recommendations made in the SSCI’s torture report. . . .
Read more »

DDC Won’t Halt Al-Nashiri’s Military Commission at GTMO

By
Tuesday, December 30, 2014 at 3:18 PM

Such is the gist of Judge Richard Roberts’ order, issued yesterday in the context of the high-value Guantanamo detainee’s habeas case in D.C. district court. The opinion opens: Guantánamo detainee Abd Al Rahim Hussayn Muhammad Al Nashiri submitted an amended petition seeking a writ of habeas corpus, arguing that the respondents’ attempts to try him by . . .
Read more »

Cliff Sloan Stepping Down as State Department GTMO Envoy

By
Monday, December 22, 2014 at 9:58 PM

The New York Times reports: WASHINGTON — The State Department envoy who negotiates detainee transfers from the military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, is resigning, dealing another blow to President Obama’s efforts to close a facility that top administration officials say is a blight on the country’s international standing. The resignation of Cliff Sloan, a close confidant . . .
Read more »

The SSCI Report and Its Critics: Torturing Efficacy

By
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at 9:59 AM

Polarization surrounding the SSCI Report (see here for Lawfare’s coverage) has been most pronounced on the efficacy of enhanced interrogation techniques (EITs). The Report and its supporters have proclaimed that EITs never produce useful information. Unfortunately, that pat assertion undermines the possibility of a consensus on future interrogation tactics, including a consensus that rules out . . .
Read more »

Findings, Conclusions and Areas of Dispute Between the SSCI Report, the Minority, and the CIA: Part Five

By , and
Friday, December 12, 2014 at 9:36 PM

Here is the fifth and final installment in our running, side-by-side comparison of the twenty findings and conclusions of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s Study on the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program—along  with responses by the Committee Minority and the CIA. Summaries of Study findings seventeen through twenty can be found below.  By way of reminder, . . .
Read more »

Findings, Conclusions and Areas of Dispute Between the SSCI Report, the Minority, and the CIA: Part Four

By and
Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 4:25 PM

In this post, we proceed with Lawfare’s ongoing, side-by-side comparison of the SSCI Study’s key findings, and responses to them by both the SSCI Minority as well as the CIA. By way of reminder, the SSCI’s Study made twenty findings and conclusions about the CIA’s detention and interrogation practices after 9/11—twelve of which the blog has summarized so . . .
Read more »

CIA Director Brennan Delivers a Statement on SSCI Report

By
Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 1:28 PM

At approximately 1:40 p.m., John Brennan, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, will make a statement on the SSCI’s detention and interrogation study.  Here’s the CSPAN video: Here is the text of Brennan’s remarks: It was 8:46 a.m. on the morning of September 11th, 2001, when the North Tower of the World Trade Center . . .
Read more »

USG Closes Bagram Detention Facility

By
Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 10:12 AM

The news comes from Time:  The United States Department of Defense said Thursday that it had shuttered the last American detention facility in Afghanistan, bringing to an end a controversial practice of holding prisoners in the country without trial. The U.S. said it no longer had custody of detainees in Afghanistan following the transfer on Wednesday of remaining . . .
Read more »

Findings, Conclusions and Areas of Dispute Between the SSCI Report, the Minority and the CIA: Part 3

By , and
Wednesday, December 10, 2014 at 7:49 PM

Below you will find the third in our running comparison of broad areas of agreement and disagreement as between the Executive Summary to the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Study on the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program, the report by the Committee’s Minority, and the response by the CIA itself.   The Study, you’ll recall, sets forth . . .
Read more »

Senator Mark Udall Now Speaking on the Senate Floor

By
Wednesday, December 10, 2014 at 11:13 AM

We only have a C-Span link thus far, but will embed video, and post a transcript, when and if one or the other becomes available. The outgoing Democrat and member of the Senate Intelligence Committee is addressing the Committee’s Study, released yesterday; and, among other things, the search of Committee staffers’ computers by the CIA. . . .
Read more »