Monday, March 8, 2010
Amos Guiora (University of Utah College of Law) critiques this recent proposal in a piece at Jurist.The bill
mandates that any person detained on suspicion of terrorist acts or material support for terrorism be placed in military custody. The detainee will not be entitled to Miranda rights and will remain in detention – and can be interrogated – while the Executive Branch makes a status determination. If determined to be an unprivileged enemy belligerent, the detainee will be held until the end of hostilities. Needless to say, unlike the POW in the war paradigm, for detainees, end of hostilities in the terrorism paradigm is a euphemism for ‘indefinite detention’.
The legislation’s panic response can be seen not only in the due process and rights denied, but in the categories of persons it addresses. By encompassing those suspected of material support for terrorism – a federal crime indeed but never part of the law of war – the bill subjects an extraordinarily broad group of persons to indefinite detention.