"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." Guardian
The impression has grown steadily in the last few years that the judiciary in the Federal Distict Court of Washington, the Federal Appeals Court in Washington and the Departmet of Justice are cooperating to ensure that there not be any further releases from Guantanamo through the habeas corpus process. The Obama administration may choose to make further releases of its own volition but that is a very different thing from court dictated releases. The system, if it exists, would be simple. If a judge rules in favor of a plaintiff, that is in the knowledge that a group of appeals court judges will overrule. In such a system a judge who rules in favor of the plaintiff does so knowing that the ruling is pointless and that he/she will be in the administration's "black books."
Some of the Guantanamo detainees are truly dangerous Islamist terrorists who cannot be released and who cannot be tried successfully because of contaminated evidence not admissable in American courts whether civilian or military.
Unfortunately, there are others who seem to have been swept up in the dragnet established by the US and its allies in the early days of the war and whom judges now see as permanent detainees.
These detainees increasingly seem to be pawns in a game designed by the government to establish case law for future use, somewhere, sometime. pl
“… pawns in a game designed by the government to establish case law for future use, somewhere, sometime.”
Given the track record I would say right here in the USA in the not too distant future.
So the hapless pawns are merely another kind of collateral damage.
I see the SCOTUS has declined one of these cases again. Today’s NYT: Also on Monday, the court declined to review a case concerning a prisoner held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
The case, Hussain v. Obama, No. 13-638, was brought by Abdul al-Qader Ahmed Hussain, a citizen of Yemen captured in Pakistan in 2002. The government says he was affiliated with Al Qaeda or the Taliban.
Mr. Hussain said the evidence against him was based on his travels, his visits to mosques and the fact that Taliban guards he stayed with gave him a gun. There is no evidence, he said, that he ever used the gun or otherwise supported enemy forces.
The District of Columbia appeals court ruled the evidence sufficient. In urging the justices to hear his case, Mr. Hussain said that the appeals court ruling effectively did away with the requirement that the government show that it was more likely than not that he had been part of an enemy force.
As is their custom, the justices offered no reasons for turning down the case. But Justice Stephen G. Breyer issued a statement seeming to invite a challenge focused on whether detentions at Guantánamo are proper if the government cannot show that the prisoner had been affiliated with “forces hostile to the United States or coalition partners in Afghanistan and who engaged in an armed conflict against the United States there.”
Maybe Justice Breyer didn’t get the memo.