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February 14, 2008

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Joan A. Conway

Someone is making money off of restraining justice.

GP

Nice post, but seriously flawed for two reasons.

First, it is not clear that those who have already been accused of terrorist activities and/or imprisoned in Gitomo are all that dangerous. Hundreds have been released; some have been recaptured, but many others have not. If prisoners are simply held indefinitely in "non criminal detention," it is very possible that they are being held for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Second, the "very long-term detention" proposed by you and your coauthor would likely result in the same animosity toward the US that exists now because of our military trial system. Either detainees would be tried and convicted in a system seen as a sham, or they would simply be held indefinitely in a related system that is seem as a sham. What is the distinction here? Both would likely lead their friends and families to have undying hatred for the US and its allies. Some may even seek to attack US interests abroad.

Furthermore, the few civilian trials of suspected terrorists - American Taliban John Walder Lindh (who confessed) and Jose Padilla - were pretty quick, and resulted in sentences (20 years for Lindh and ~17 for Padilla) that were far heavier than those who have been processed at Gitmo, like the Australian Hicks, who got essentially 5 years of time served and was forced to serve something like 9 months in an Aussie prison.

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