As the organizational scope of the post-9/11 armed conflict evolves, so too does the scope of military detention authority. A court’s ruling this week illustrates that it is shrinking.
Latest in Guantanamo Litigation: District Court
In an opinion signed on Jan. 28 and released in redacted form on Mar. 15, Judge Royce C. Lambeth of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia denied a petition for a writ of habeas corpus from Abdulsalam Ali Abdulrahman al-Hela, a Yemeni citizen captured in Afghanistan in 2002 and detained at Guantanmo Bay since 2004. The full opinion is available here and below.
The United States has held Asadullah Haroon Gul, also known as al-Afghani, at Guantanamo Bay for 11 years. In an Oct. 10 court filing, as part of litigation arising out of al-Afghani’s 2016 petition for habeas corpus, the government amended the legal basis for Afghani’s detention.
Thursday morning, Judge Rosemary Collyer of the D.C. federal district court will hear argument on whether the government may be compelled to examine Guantanamo Bay detainee and alleged 9/11 conspirator Mohammed al-Qahtani to determine whether he is “eligible for direct repatriation.” Al-Qahtani, whom U.S.
On Friday, a three-judge panel in the D.C. Court of Appeals rejected a request to release recordings of military personnel in Guantanamo Bay force-feeding a detainee who was on a hunger strike. The detainee in question is Abu Wa’el (Jihad) Dhiab, whose habeas corpus proceedings have previously been covered by Lawfare. Dhiab has since been released to Uruguay, but media organizations continue to press for the public release of the military’s force-feeding recordings.
Don't look now but the long dormant world of Guantanamo habeas litigation is getting at least a little bit less sleepy.
Last November, a detainee named Guled Hassan Duran, an alum of the CIA's RDI program, filed a new habeas petition.
As Benjamin Wittes and I have noted, the last few weeks of the Obama administration and the first months of the Trump administration generated some activity surrounding the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on interrogation, with counsel for Guantanamo detainees filing motions requesting that the SSCI report be preserved in at least four cases.
Given Donald Trump’s continuing fondness for Twitter over the course of his rise to power, it was perhaps inevitable that sooner or later, we would start seeing his tweets showing up in litigations. Turns out it happened sooner, in fact before he even took office. In the weeks before the inauguration, counsel in Guantanamo habeas cases filed what appear to be the first motion referring, implicitly, to Trump’s tweets—at least the first that we’re aware of in the national security context.
Last week, Ben posted an order by Judge Royce Lamberth of the D.C. District Court granting a request by counsel for Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri to have a copy of the Senate Intelligence Committee's interrogation report held under seal with the court.
The other day, Quinta and I noted that counsel for Abd al Rahim Al-Nashiri had asked the court in his habeas case to have a copy of the Senate Intelligence Committee's interrogation report filed under seal with the court. Yesterday, Judge Royce Lamberth issued an order doing just that: