The influential constitutional and national security thinker Benjamin Wittes has found a solution to the conundrum that is vexing the Obama administration's task force on detention policy: how does the United States simultaneously provide dangerous, non-triable detainees with due process rights and keep them, well, detained until (if ever) rehabilitated.
In essence, Wittes proposes to give the president authority to detain terrorists or enemy combatants for, first, 14 days, and then, with the approval of a specially-designated judge, for six months; every six months, the administration would have to re-apply for the authority. As Wittes concedes to NPR's Ari Shapiro, people could be locked up indefinitely -- but only with the concurrence of a separate branch of government.
When Wittes releases his formal proposal, I'll pass it along. My guess is that it will be weekend reading for a bevy of senior administration officials.
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