Obama Appeals Bagram Detainee Ruling

The Obama administration has appealed a ruling from a district court judge that some detainees at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan are entitled to challenge the reasons for their detentions.  Last week, Judge Paul D. Bates granted limited habaes corpus rights to three of the four detainees involved in the case, rejecting the government's claim that federal courts had no jurisdiction there.  The government claims otherwise, believing that Supreme Court cases haven't yet extended a constitutional (as opposed to statuatory) right to habaes corpus hearings for all detainees, everywhere.  If overturned (and not subsequently over-overturned), the Obama administration would be able to capture and detain prisoners at Bagram for the duration of the conflict against Afghanistan --- a legal "black hole" outside the purview of American courts.  The decision to appeal the ruling reflects a consensus opinion within the administration that it retains the power to detain battlefield combatans and determine their status; even though the legal authority for detaining the Gitmo detainees was transfered to Congress, the administration still believes it has an inherent right to exercise such power. 

Presented by

Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Confessions of Moms Around the World

A global look at the hardest and best job ever

Video

A Stop-Motion Tour of New York City

A filmmaker animated hundreds of still photographs to create this Big Apple flip book

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open for 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

More in Politics

Just In