Terrorism Trials & Investigations

Jens David Ohlin on Giving Up Support Offenses After Hamdan and Hedges

By Benjamin Wittes
Wednesday, October 31, 2012, 7:04 AM

Cornell's Jens David Ohlin has this interesting post over at his LieberCode blog, arguing that support offenses are far less necessary than Americans tend to think. It opens:

A pair of recent court decisions have thrown into stark relief the continuing obsession by our governmental leaders with the legal category of "support"-- a concept that provides the foundation for much of the current legal architecture of the armed conflict with al Qaeda.  Moreover, even though courts continue to raise serious concerns with the concept in numerous different contexts, the Executive and legislative branches keep using it.  More importantly, I'm not even sure that the concept is needed any more, but for some reason Congress and the Administration are fixated on it.
Let me explain.  The takeaway from all of this is that I wonder if "support" should be allowed to die a dignified death and put to rest with great thanks for the work that it has already performed, but with certain knowledge that its successors are better up to the challenge.