White House Denies Indefinite Detention Order

White House Denies Indefinite Detention Order

The Washington Post was in error when it recently stated that the President has an executive order in the hopper that will make the detention of Guantanamo detainees indefinite — read permanent.


This is the sticky aspect of the entire mess created by Bush torture policies. There are up to 90 detainees who are deemed a danger. Presumably because we used illegal tactics to elicit information (aka torture) these people cannot be tried without invalidating decent evidence due to the poisoned process.

So it is a conundrum and there may indeed be an eventual need for an executive order if Congress and the President cannot agree on a plan. The President intends to meet with Congress in July to advance the process.

No one said this would be easy and there is no way to reverse the damage done by the Bush illegalities. My own sense is that if the confession of a detainee was obtained under duress, making a trial impossible, there needs to be some process which brings a case to closure. Two wrongs do not make a right. But indefinite detention without trial is a wrong that rivals or even exceeds torture. It is unacceptable.

There is one other possibility. Congress might pass legislation that explicitly renders evidence obtained under duress inadmissable, forcing a process that would in essence try these 90 hard cases de novo. I am sure legal heads can arrive as some solution that is better than indefinite detention.


One thought on “White House Denies Indefinite Detention Order

  1. I wrote a few posts on this topic, proposing the idea that the social policy behind the exclusionary rule (that there is no more powerful tool to convince law enforcement to follow the rules than the threat of a bad guy walking if they break them) has a place in this debate. In that if we cannot send them to trial as a product of having lost evidence as it was a product of torture, we should simply suck it up, accept responsibility and let them go.

    Permalink: http://darylrodrigues.com/wordpress/?p=534

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