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« Obama Plans Web Tools For Lobbying and Mid-Term Races | Main | This is Not a Lost and Found Post »

November 10, 2008


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Civilian trials in American courts of members of foreign guerilla insurgencies (Taliban)or foreign paramilitary groups (al Qaida)captured overseas in an armed conflict with the U.S. are inappropriate, jurisdictionally speaking. It's also a bad idea in terms of policy because it further muddies the water between a civilian criminal defendent and an armed combatant. Detainees belong in proper military courts tried under the relevant articles of war, something the Bush administration has refused to do.

Military tribunals are also a legitimate option but they generally have an extraordinary character ( Nuremburg, Tokyo, Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia etc.)and international participation.

Military commissions have precedent under SCOTUS but the Bush administration has discredited their use. I've always thought that was by design and that their goal was always to avoid trials and finesse ad hoc indefinite detention.

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