Latest in detention


Enjoining the Transfer of a US-Saudi Citizen to Saudi Arabia: A Doe v. Mattis Update and Initial Preview

Since this article's publishing, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has released Judge Chutkan's ruling. Read it on Lawfare.

Can the U.S. government transfer a dual U.S.-Saudi citizen, without his consent, from U.S. military custody in Iraq to Saudi custody in Saudi Arabia? This issue has been percolating for a while in federal court, but the case is now heading rapidly towards an answer.


Document: ACLU's Response to Government's Notice of Intention to Transfer John Doe

On Tuesday, April 17, the Justice Department filed a notice alerting the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia of the government's intention to transfer John Doe, an American citizen held in U.S. military detention in Iraq, to an unnamed third country. Under the terms of a preliminary injunction issued by the court, the government is required to provide 72 hours' notice before transferring Doe.


Document: Government Notice of Intention to Transfer John Doe

On Tuesday, the Justice Department filed a notice informing the D.C. federal district court of the government's intention to transfer the detained John Doe U.S.-citizen enemy combatant to the custody of another country in no fewer than 72 hours. The government filed the heavily redacted notice pursuant to Judge Tanya Chutkan's Jan.

Foreign Policy Essay

How to Respond When the International Criminal Court Goes after America

Editor’s Note: The International Criminal Court (ICC) is about to investigate U.S. actions in Afghanistan and controversial interrogation practices—a decision the United States has long quietly opposed. What to do about the investigation, however, is complex, as open defiance of the ICC may have significant costs. David Bosco of Indiana University proposes a compromise: The United States would affirm its support for the ICC's general goals but stress that it should only include member states, not America or other non-members.



Documents: Government Response to Court Order in ACLU v. Mattis and Response Briefs

On Nov. 30, the Justice Department responded to D.C. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan's order in ACLU v. Mattis for the government to say whether the unnamed American citizen detainee being held as an enemy combatant had requested counsel and whether he invoked his right to habeas corpus. The ACLU then filed a reponse brief. On Dec. 1, the Justice Department filed a response opposing the ACLU's brief. All three documents are below.


Questions Senators Should Ask at the AUMF Hearing Regarding the US Citizen Enemy Combatant

On October 30th, the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations will hold a hearing titled "The Authorizations for Use of Military Force: Adminstration Perspective," featuring Secretaries Mattis and Tillerson. This is a good thing. We should have an updated AUMF. But, failing that, we should at least have regular and serious hearings in which Congress elicits information about how the President currently construes these authorities.


Assessing the ACLU Habeas Petition on Behalf of the Unnamed U.S. Citizen Held as an Enemy Combatant in Iraq

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a John Doe habeas petition on behalf of the still-not-identified American citizen the U.S. military is holding as an enemy combatant in Iraq (for background, see here). The case is Doe v. Mattis, No. 17-cv-02069, and it was filed in federal district court in D.C. Here is my preliminary assessment.

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