Administration: Detainees Have No Rights


Richard Moore

Administration: Detainees Have No Rights

WASHINGTON Nov 13, 2006 (AP)— The Bush 
administration said Monday that Guantanamo Bay 
prisoners have no right to challenge their 
detentions in civilian courts and that lawsuits 
by hundreds of detainees should be dismissed.

In court documents filed with the U.S. Court of 
Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the 
Justice Department defended the military's 
authority to arrest people overseas and detain 
them indefinitely without access to courts.

It's the first time that argument has been 
spelled out since President Bush signed a law 
last month setting up military commissions for 
the thousands of foreigners being held in U.S. 
prisons abroad.

Bush hailed the law as a crucial tool in the war 
on terrorism and said it would allow prosecution 
of several high-level terror suspects.

Human rights groups and attorneys for the 
detainees say the law is unconstitutional. 
Prisoners normally have the right to challenge 
their imprisonment.

The Justice Department said Monday that the 
detainees have no constitutional rights because 
they are being held overseas. Giving military 
detainees access to civilian courts "would 
severely impair the military's ability to defend 
this country," government attorneys wrote.

"Congress could have simply withdrawn 
jurisdiction over these matters and left the 
decision of whether to detain enemy aliens held 
abroad to the military," the Justice Department 

Instead, Congress set up a military commission 
structure establishing "unprecedented" levels of 
review for detainees, the attorneys wrote.



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