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Category Archives: Detention: Operations in Afghanistan

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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The Uncertain Future of Military Detention Authority as “Combat Operations” in Afghanistan End

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at 4:23 PM

Scooping his own speech tomorrow at West Point, President Obama today announced his decision on future US force levels in Afghanistan.  Assuming that the winner of the Afghan presidential election will indeed sign the new Bilateral Security Agreement (which both leading candidates have pledged to do), the US will: – reduce its presence to 9800 . . .
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Lessons on Detention from Capt. Patrick McCarthy’s Talk at MILOPS

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Thursday, May 1, 2014 at 2:48 PM

I first met Capt. Patrick McCarthy a number of years back when he was the staff judge advocate down at Guantanamo and I visited the site for a day to see the detention facilities there. Capt. McCarthy is now the staff judge advocate at U.S. Pacific Command, and in this role has been the host . . .
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More on the Afghan Drawdown’s Destabilizing Impact on Detention Law

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Monday, April 28, 2014 at 7:59 AM

Excellent recent posts by Ben and Marty draw attention to the impact that the drawdown in Afghanistan likely will have on GTMO habeas litigation. I agree; we will certainly see a fresh wave of litigation.  And as part of that wave, we will see the argument that the law of armed conflict no longer applies . . .
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Afghanistan on Verge of Releasing 88 Former US-Held Detainees, Over US Objections

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Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 6:00 PM

On New Year’s Eve the New York Times reported that the Karzai Administration has given preliminary approval for the release of 88 Afghan detainees who were once held in US custody in Afghanistan and who were transferred (along with hundreds of others) to the control of the Government of Afghanistan as part of the larger . . .
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The D.C. Circuit’s Opinion in the Bagram Habeas Petitions

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Monday, December 30, 2013 at 4:31 PM

On Christmas Eve, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit handed down its opinion in a habeas appeal brought by three detainees held by the United States at Bagram Air Force Base’s Parwan detention facility in Afghanistan. The opinion in the consolidated cases of Al Maqaleh v. Hagel, Amanatullah v. Obama and Hamidullah v. Obama, authored by . . .
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D.C. Circuit Dismisses Bagram Habeas Petitions

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013 at 12:00 PM

This Christmas Eve opinion, authored by Circuit Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson for a three-judge panel composed of Judge Thomas B. Griffith and Senior Circuit Judge Stephen F. Williams, affirms the district court’s conclusion that it lacks jurisdiction to hear habeas petitions brought by detainees held at Bagram Air Force Base’s Parwan Detention Facility. We covered . . .
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Unwinding Detention in Afghanistan: Are Military Commissions in the United States the Solution?

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Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 6:00 AM

The Washington Post had an important story yesterday involving the future of the 53 military detainees who remain in U.S. custody in Afghanistan. Why not just stick with the status quo—i.e., military detention under color of the law of armed conflict?  Primarily because the clock is ticking on our practical capacity to maintain the status quo.  As . . .
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Whither Hamidullah? Briefs on Bagram Habeas Petition Status Post-Repatriation

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Friday, November 29, 2013 at 8:04 AM

The briefing regarding the mootness of the habeas appeal of the now-former Bagram detainee, Hamidullah, is before the D.C. Circuit. Last week the U.S. government informed Hamidullah’s attorneys that he had been transferred, along with five other non-Afghans who had been detained by the U.S. at Bagram Air Force Base, to the custody of the Pakistani government. So . . .
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Bagram Detainees Repatriated to Pakistan, Is Habeas Appeal Moot?

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Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 11:17 AM

A few weeks ago, Bobby and John reacted to a Washington Post story reporting that seven hundred Afghan detainees at Bagram Air Force Base whom the US transferred to Afghan custody earlier this year may be released. Despite the custody transfer agreement, the U.S. still has its own detention facility at the base, in which it houses non-Afghan . . .
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Bagram: More on Wind-down of Obama’s Guantanamo

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Sunday, November 10, 2013 at 10:52 PM

Bobby drew attention to yesterday’s Washington Post article about the Afghan Government’s release of hundreds of detainees the U.S. military had transferred to Afghan control at the detention facility at Bagram.  Bobby rightly commented that the Afghans’ reluctance to hold detainees under the laws of war is not new; despite being in the middle of an . . .
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Afghanistan May Release Hundreds of Detainees Transferred from US Military Custody

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Saturday, November 9, 2013 at 8:12 PM

The unwinding of US detention operations in Afghanistan continues.   The latest development concerns the population of some 880 Afghan detainees whom the United States has transferred to Afghan control as part of the drawdown process (the United States continue to hold a smaller population of non-Afghan detainees, the long-term disposition plan for which is unclear . . .
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On the Legal Consequences of Moving Away from the Armed-Conflict Model of Counterterrorism

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Friday, October 4, 2013 at 3:03 PM

When it comes to detention and drone strikes, both critics and supporters of the status quo assume that abandoning the armed-conflict model would have not just diplomatic and legal effects but also a significant legal effect.  Critics bank on it, supporters fear it.  But what if their common assumption is wrong?  It’s a question I . . .
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Oral Argument Recap: The Bagram Habeas Cases

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 3:25 PM

Here’s a quick read-out from Tuesday’s oral argument in a trio of cases concerning detainees captured outside of Afghanistan, but eventually transferred to the custody of the U.S. military and held at a facility at Bagram airfield. The day involved, as Raffaela reported earlier, two separate arguments. The first merged the Al Maqaleh and Amanatullah . . .
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Oral Argument Preview: The Bagram Habeas Petitions

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Monday, September 16, 2013 at 7:34 PM

The question before a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Tuesday morning: can a group of detainees held by the United States at Bagram airfield, in Afghanistan, challenge their detentions by petitioning for writs of habeas corpus?   It is presented in three cases, Al Maqaleh, Amanatullah, and Hamidullah, all of which were dismissed by District . . .
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Postwar: An Essay on Whether the Armed-Conflict Model Still Matters

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 7:53 PM

“Does it really matter, from a legal perspective, whether the U.S. government continues to maintain that it is in an armed conflict with al Qaeda?  When it comes to the use of lethal force and military detention, not nearly so much as both supporters and critics of the status quo commonly assume.” Those are the . . .
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The Lingering Problem of the Lingering Detainee Population Under US Control in Afghanistan

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Monday, August 5, 2013 at 7:00 AM

An article in the Washington Post today draws attention, once more (see here, for example), to the lingering question of what will become of the lingering population of detainees (all non-Afghans) remaining in US custody in Afghanistan.  Nothing new to report so far as I can tell, alas, other than the rather interesting fact that . . .
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White House Threatens Veto of NDAA

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Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 10:51 AM

OMB has issued a Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) pointing out White House objections to various elements in pending NDAA legislation (H.R. 1960, the HASC NDAA FY’14 bill), and threatening to veto the legislation if changes are not made.  There are, of course, many different points of contention.  I’ll highlight two sections of the SAP . . .
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Eight Thoughts on the Broad Reading of Article II Inherent in Bobby’s Conjecture

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013 at 8:08 AM

Bobby’s post from Friday argued that “the current shadow war approach to counterterrorism doesn’t really require an armed-conflict predicate–or an AUMF, for that matter.”  Bobby’s point is that most if not all of the USG’s current uses of force outside Afghanistan could in theory continue even if the armed conflict against al Qaeda ended.  This . . .
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Does the Armed-Conflict Model Matter in Practice Anymore?

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Friday, May 24, 2013 at 7:06 PM

This post draws on material from my current book project, the concluding chapter of which considers the legal architecture of counterterrorism in a “postwar” setting…and advances the argument that we already have largely crossed into that world.  In yesterday’s speech, President Obama repeatedly referred to the possibility that the armed conflict with al Qaeda may . . .
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