Obama Echoes Bush Policy on Detainee Access to Courts

Complying With Court Ruling Would "Inhibit Future Capture of Pakistani Citizens"

Following one of former President Bush’s key policies, the Obama Administration is contesting the federal ruling from earlier this month which granted some of the detainees held by the United States in Afghanistan certain legal rights, in particular habeas corpus.

The administration intends to argue that giving US-held detainees the right to challenge the legitimacy of their open-ended detentions would “inhibit the future capture of Pakistani citizens for detention by US forces in Afghanistan.”

The Bush Administration argued that foreign prisoners held by the US military had absolutely no legal rights, and could be held indefinitely without charges or access to courts. While the Obama Administration has said it intends to abandon the unpopular detention center at Guantanamo Bay at some point, the appeal makes it clear that President Obama intends to continue the detentions, just in a less public environment.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.