Officials Argue Guaranteeing Trial 'Unconstitutional'
In an open-ended war spanning the entire planet, officials have had plenty of time to make outlandish proclamations. Today, a letter (PDF) form several former security officials took a stab at being the most galling such statement so far in the war.
The letter, addressed to the House Armed Services Committee chairman Rep. Buck McKeon (R – CA), attacks the recent efforts by Reps. Adam Smith (D – WA) and Justin Amash (R – MI) to roll back the “indefinite detention without charges in military custody” portion of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012.
The letter argues that any change in the law that would restrict the ability of the federal government to indefinitely detain suspects without charges would amount to “rewarding terrorists” and would make terror attacks more likely. It goes on to claim that removing the law would be unconstitutional because—and get this—it would restrict the president’s ability to “fulfill his constitutional duties as commander in chief.”
Rep. Smith defended the efforts to ensure that people arrested actually eventually get to a court, saying that the letter was “disingenuous and purely political.” Though Congress cheerfully passed the NDAA by a wide margin, a massive public backlash against the law has a number of its former proponents looking for cover, and fearing that their support for indefinite detention could harm their reelection.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- US: Process Reached to Give UN Access to Iran Sites as Needed - June 29th, 2015
- Pentagon: A Year Into War, ISIS Remains a Potent Force - June 29th, 2015
- Top Officials Heading to Iran Nuclear Talks Amid Breakthrough Hopes - June 29th, 2015
- ISIS Car Bomb Wounds 28 Mourners in Yemen Capital - June 29th, 2015
- US Cheers 'Reforms,' Resumes Bahrain Military Aid - June 29th, 2015