Rule of Law Returns
February 26, 2009, 2:39 pm
Filed under: Ian | Tags: , ,

The ACLU just announced that Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, the only Bush-era “enemy combatant” being held in military detention on U.S. soil, will be charged as a criminal terrorist and tried for his alleged crimes by the Obama Administration.  This is a really big deal, both because it marks a major step by the new Administration to demonstrate that national security does not require us to abandon the Constitution, and also because it gives meaning to President Obama’s previous decision to close Gitmo.  If the Gitmo detainees were merely transferred from Cuba to U.S. soil, but were then detained here without trial, the President’s promise to close Gitmo would have been meaningless.

The Supreme Court already agreed to consider a challenge to the constitutionality of al-Marri’s detention, and the ACLU is asking the Court still to consider that case.  According to Al-Marri’s attorney, the ACLU’s Jonathan Hafetz, “it is vital that the Supreme Court case go forward because it must be made clear once and for all that indefinite military detention of persons arrested in the U.S. is illegal and that this will never happen again.”

I couldn’t agree more.


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