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Category Archives: Detention

The End of the United States’ War in Afghanistan Requires Detainee’s Release From GTMO

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Friday, February 27, 2015 at 8:00 AM

Such is this gist of this quite important Motion to Grant Petition For Writ of Habeas Corpus, filed last night by attorneys for Guantanamo detainee Mukhtar Yahia Naji al Warafi.  His filing opens as follows: Under the Authorization for Use of Military Force, Pub. L. No. 107-40, § 2(a), 115 Stat. 224 (2002) (“AUMF”), the Government . . .
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Yesterday’s Abatement Order in the 9/11 Case

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Thursday, February 26, 2015 at 4:30 PM

Yesterday, after determining Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work’s requirement that military commission judges live at Guantanamo Bay may improperly interfered with the case, Col. James Pohl halted pretrial proceedings in the trial of five Guantanamo Bay detainees accused of orchestrating the 9/11 attacks. You can find Col. Pohl’s abatement order below:

Statement of GTMO Special Envoy at Yesterday’s HASC hearing on Guantanamo Bay

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Friday, February 13, 2015 at 11:28 AM

Yesterday, the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations received an “Update on Detainee Transfers from GTMO.” You can read the testimony of the Department of Defense’s Special Envoy for Guantanamo Detention Closure, Paul M. Lewis, here. The testimony of the Department of State’s Acting Special Envoy for Guantanamo Closure, Charles Trumbull, . . .
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Why We Shouldn’t Import Guantánamo: A Holistic Perspective

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015 at 11:40 AM

It is with great reluctance that I wade into Gabor and Steve’s debate about how to close the U.S. prison at Guantánamo Bay. I’ve made no secret of my distaste for what I’ve described (okay, okay, flippantly described) as “the atmospheric punditry some have come to expect from this blog.” (Although, I must confess that, . . .
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The Administration’s Guantanamo Testimony Yesterday

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Friday, February 6, 2015 at 1:31 PM

Here it is, given by Brian McKeon, Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, before the Senate Armed Services Committee. And here’s the video of yesterday’s hearing:

The Meaningful Legal Differences Between Stateside and Guantánamo Detention

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Thursday, February 5, 2015 at 3:30 PM

Gabor’s post from this morning, which is styled as a response to Ben’s thoughtful analysis of what it will take to close Guantánamo (while ignoring some of the other responses), concludes that the only meaningful way to “close” Guantánamo is for President Obama “to either release all detainees or try them in our time-tested federal courts,” at least largely . . .
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Happening Now: SASC Hearing on GITMO

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Thursday, February 5, 2015 at 9:53 AM

The Senate Armed Services Committee is currently holding a hearing entitled “Guantanamo Detention Facility and the Future of US Detention Policy. Brian P. McKeon, Nicholas J. Rasmussen, and Rear Admiral Ross A. Myers are set to testify. You can watch the hearing live here at the SASC website.

How Not to Close Guantanamo: Bring It Here

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Thursday, February 5, 2015 at 9:46 AM

Ben asks “What Would it Take to Close Guantanamo?” and he provides a thoughtful response weighted toward the political landscape. But there’s another not-so-merely-philosophical question that underlies his question: what does it mean to “close Guantanamo?” For purposes of rapprochement with Cuba it may have to mean U.S. out of Guantanamo altogether. That’s not going . . .
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A Reply to Steve Vladeck and Raha Wala

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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 . . .
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What the Detention Policy Debate Really Is About

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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 . . .
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Thoughts on the Al-Marri Release

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

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

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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 . . .
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Text of Senator Ayotte’s GTMO Transfers Bill

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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, . . .
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A New Bid to Restrict GTMO Transfers

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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 . . .
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Law Enforcement as a Counterterrorism Tool

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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, . . .
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France: At “War” With Radical Islam: A Brief Response to Jack Goldsmith

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Sunday, January 11, 2015 at 9:47 AM

If someone had predicted a day that I would be agreeing with France’s socialist party Prime Minister more than with Jack Goldsmith, I would have told them I was more likely to be attacked by a crazed guinea pig (two of which we adopted for Christmas so maybe not all that unlikely).  But that day . . .
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On the Tired War v. Law Enforcement Distinction

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Saturday, January 10, 2015 at 2:07 PM

I agree with much of what Wells says in response to Bryan Cunningham’s piece on War v. Crime, but thought I would add my two cents. It is not fair to say, as Bryan does, that the attacks in France were a “consequence” of a return to a “largely law enforcement approach to terrorism” by . . .
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On War and Crime

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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 . . .
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Cliff Sloan on Closing Guantanamo

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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 . . .
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