Obama: Giving Bagram Detainees Access to US Courts a Threat to National Security

Bagram Detainees Not Equal to Gitmo Detainees, Administration Insists

by Jason Ditz, September 14, 2009

Though the Department of Defense has made a big deal about the major changes being made in the detention procedures at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan, and the notion that for the first time detainees will have something resembling rights while in US custody, the Obama Administration has made it clear today that those “rights” don’t extend very far.

Today the administration made a filing with the US Court of Appeals in Washington challenging a previous determination by a judge that some Bagram detainees actually had legal rights to challenge their detention.

Though the judge said some of the detainees actually had no legal rights, he determined that foreigners being held there were materially the same as those at Guantanamo Bay, and should be afforded the same rights. The administration is now arguing that they’re not the same, and that giving the detainees actual legal rights could be a threat to the ongoing war effort in Afghanistan.

The “rights” they’ll actually get, rather, are that the Pentagon will actually assign a non-lawyer soldier to them to help them gather evidence in an attempt to prove that they’re not guilty of whatever they’re being accused of. The military will then decide if they want to let them go or not.

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