Obama Justice: Acquittal Does Not Guarantee Release from Prison

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Human rights activists are questioning the point of military tribunals for suspected terrorists if the likely result is that detainees, even if they are acquitted, will remain behind bars, potentially forever.

Amnesty International has reported that according to the U.S. military’s latest manual for tribunals, a defendant who receives a not guilty verdict can still be held in prison indefinitely. The justification for this policy goes back to the Authorization for Use of Military Force, the legislation adopted by Congress one week after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, that President George W. Bush used as the basis for many of his administration’s most controversial anti-terrorism programs.
President Barack Obama is continuing this legacy, Amnesty argues that this demonstrates it is al-Qaeda that has won the terror war. “Now that two presidents and hundreds of members of Congress from two different parties have responded to the heinous attacks on 9/11 by throwing away due process and fair trials, the conclusion is inescapable: al Qaeda has destroyed the U.S. justice system,” wrote Zeke Johnson, of Amnesty International USA’s Counter Terror With Justice Campaign.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
USA: We find the Defendant NOT Guilty. Now Lock Him Up! (by Zeke Johnson, Amnesty International)


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