Judge Rules Afghanistan Detainees Have Right to Challenge Detention in Court

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

From the BBC:

A US judge has ruled that foreign suspects held by the US in Afghanistan have the right to challenge their detention in US civilian courts.

Judge John Bates denied the motion by the US government to withhold the right to three detainees at Bagram air base.

The US Supreme Court ruled last year that detainees at Guantanamo had such a right. The justice department later said those held at Bagram did not.

Judge Bates said the cases were essentially the same.


“Today, a US federal judge ruled that our government can not simply kidnap people and hold them beyond the law,” lawyer Ramzi Kassem was quoted as saying by the Washington Post.


Upholding the rule of law.

Will the Obama adminstration appeal this?  I hope not.

Update I: More details here in the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04…

A federal judge on Thursday ruled that some prisoners held by the American military in Afghanistan have a constitutional right to challenge their imprisonment in United States civilian courts, delivering a rebuke to a claim of unfettered executive power advanced by both the Bush and Obama administrations.

In 53-page ruling, Judge John D. Bates of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia said that three detainees at the United States Air Force base at Bagram are “virtually identical” to detainees at the Navy base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and so they have the same legal rights that the Supreme Court last year granted prisoners held there.

All three detainees are non-Afghan citizens who said they were captured outside Afghanistan and have been imprisoned for years without trials. Arguing that they are not enemy combatants, the detainees want a judge to review the evidence against them and order their release under the right known as “habeas corpus.”

Think about that: “delivering a rebuke to a claim of unfettered executive power advanced by both the Bush and Obama administrations”.

Unfettered executive power, a position supported by President Barack Obama, who claimed to be a constitutional law scholar.  

It’s time for justice, not unfettered executive power.

On the trad blog, I can’t say that, because President Obama is always right there.  But here at docudharma, truth is more important than political tribalism and idolatry.

Thanks, buhdy, for what you have created here.


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    • TomP on April 2, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    law and justice.

  1. The Court rejected Obama/Bush argument and now all detainees who are not Afghanis have access to US Courts.  The big question is whether Obama will accept this ruling, or whether he will now have the Govt appeal to the Court of Appeals.

    It would be just wonderful if Obama would let this lie and accept it as determinative.  Why do I expect that the Notice of Appeal is being typed while I’m writing this?  

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