Friday, June 24, 2011

New Detention Rules from Senate Committee

The New York Times reports that the Senate Armed Services Committee has voted for a "sweeping and bipartisan package redefining the rules for detaining terrorism suspects, including giving military judges the power to review the cases of prisoners in Afghanistan and mandating military detention for important Qaeda suspects — even if they are captured on United States soil." One section would direct the military to set up a system of status hearings for prisoners it intends to hold in “long-term custody” in places like Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. Another provision would mandate military detention for people suspected of being “high value” terrorists from Al Qaeda: members of the organization who participated in planning or conducting attacks on the United States. The mandate would exclude United States citizens, and it would allow the secretary of defense to send detainees to the civilian criminal justice system at his discretion.