Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Acquitted Detainees Could Remain In Custody
Yesterday I told you about a Gitmo detainee who was returned to Afghan custody only to be released to take up a position as a Taliban commander coordinating attacks on U.S. troops. Today's story is about an extreme in the other direction.
It seems that terrorist suspects who are tried in a court of law, as promised by the Obama administration, might remain in detention even if they are acquitted.
It seems impossible, under U.S. rule of law, that this could even happen. But that's what the Defense Department's top lawyer is telling the U.S. Senate. If an acquitted detainee is deemed a continuing threat to national security, says Jeh Johnson, he could still be remanded.
It's understandable, given cases like the one I outlined yesterday, that the government would want to ensure that those who pose a danger to the rest of us be isolated to protect society. But you have to have some faith in the judicial system. If not, why even bother with the sham of going through a trial?
One thing's for sure. If the government makes good on this possibility, the ACLU is going to have a field day with it.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mafleen/34559420/