CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Monday, March 8, 2010

Guiora on "Enemy Belligerent Interrogation, Detention and Prosecution Act of 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.

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Is there a clause buried somewhere in the "Enemy Belligerent Interrogation, Detention and Prosecution Act of 2010" stating "Place the Bill of Rights in the shredder as it is no longer needed" (a 'quaint but no longer useful notion')? Or are we at the point now in our history where even the concept of a Bill of Rights is considered "immaterial" and/or "irrelevant"?

Posted by: R. Decker | Mar 9, 2010 12:01:47 PM

What is going on here? I was scared when I read "The Secret History of the United States" (John Perkins), also scared when I read,"The Shock Doctrine, The Rise of Disaster Capitalism" by Naomi Klein and even more scared when I read "The End of America" by Naomi Wolf. What is this country coming to? Anyone raising questions about 9/11, about our lose (obliteration is a better word) of personal liberties, the difficulties with doing ANY protest (for fear of, for example, being tasered!), the fear of your telephone calls being taped. My gosh, what is happening to America? As a result of this proposed bill, I've removed some bumper stickers (One of Ron Paul, another about the need for a NEW "bla, bla, bla" investigation.) This country is going down hill faster than I thought possible. Why else would I not want to disclose the bla, bla bla? Let's do what we can to stop this bill.

Posted by: Tom | Mar 22, 2010 8:28:48 AM

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