20 April 2014

And Our Forever War Continues………

Under the laws of war, once the war is over, the POWs are set free. Well, not this time:
Typically, when a war ends, so does the combatants’ authority to detain the other side’s fighters. But as the conclusion of the US war in Afghanistan approaches, the inmate population of Guantánamo Bay is likely to be an exception – and, for the Obama administration, the latest complication to its attempt to close the infamous wartime detention complex.

In December, when President Barack Obama and his Nato allies formally end their combat role in Afghanistan, US officials indicate there is unlikely to be a corresponding release of detainees at Guantánamo who were captured during the country's longest conflict.

The question has been the subject of recent internal debate in the Obama administration, which is wrapped up in the broader question of future detention policy.

Already human rights groups and lawyers for the detainees say they anticipate filing a new wave of lawsuits challenging the basis for a wartime detention after the war ends – the next phase in more than a decade of attempts to litigate the end of indefinite detention.

For the White House, the Justice Department and the Pentagon, the complicating factor is the unique legal authority undergirding the Afghanistan war.

Passed by Congress days after the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, the Authorization to Use Military Force cleared the legal path for the invasion of Afghanistan – and much more.

Known as the AUMF, its broad language blessed not only the Afghanistan war, but a global battle against al-Qaida without an expiration date. Subsequent interpretations of the AUMF broadened the definition of the adversary to include al-Qaida’s “associated forces”.
If they are not released when the war is over, then try them in civilian courts.

This state if nebulous never-ending war is destroying us.

Osama bin Laden is sitting somewhere laughing.


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