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Thursday, August 19, 2004

What Should Be Done With The "Enemy Combatants"?

In his article, Jacob G. Hornberger considers the legality of the newly-minted status of "enemy combatant" which the US government has been using to define terror suspects whom it claims it can detain indefinitely without any oversight by the court system. The recent Supreme Court decisions have to some extent undermined the government's contention. Mr Horberger presents a review of various legal aspects associated with these decisions as well as of the "war on terror" in general.

These cases are a critical test of the American system of checks and balances. It is worth noting that two of the cases, namely those of Padilla and Hamdi, involve US citizens. The government's claim to bypass the court system in those cases,- the claim largely annulled by a recent Supreme Court ruling,- amounted to nothing less than a claim to hold any American in custody, potentially incommunicado, when the government saw fit.

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