US May Bring Detainees Held in Afghanistan to US Navy Brig

US Seeks to Create Another Legal Black Hole

Whether the occupation ends in 2014 or continues for decades to come, Afghanistan has made it clear they are no longer comfortable with the US using them as a place to keep foreign detainees.

The US has long treated Afghanistan as a win-win on detention, treating it like Guantanamo Bay in that it is outside of the US itself, but also insisting that because it is sovereign Afghan soil, the US courts can’t even have the nominal oversight they’ve had on other detainees’ treatment.

What’s a country to do when they need a new legal black hole? One answer would be the naval brig in Charleston, SC according to Sen. Lindsay Graham (R – SC), who says the military could keep them there forever on the grounds that Afghanistan is a war zone and anyone held there must be a prisoner of war.

That might be a tough case to make, since the US has sent some of the detainees to Afghanistan specifically to keep them out of the court system, and officials keep arguing the Afghan War is essentially over at any rate. Graham insisted he opposes any trials for any of the detainees unless they are 100% confident of a conviction, and that otherwise they should just extend the detentions.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.