Is Bagram Obama’s New Secret Prison?

September 16, 2009 at 9:12 pm | Posted in Afghanistan, Terrorism | Leave a comment
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On Monday, one day after the New York Times and the Washington Post reported that the Obama administration was planning to introduce tribunals for the prisoners held in the US prison at Bagram airbase, Afghanistan, the reason for the specifically-timed leaks that led to the publication of the stories became clear.

The government was hoping that offering tribunals to evaluate the prisoners’ status would perform a useful PR function, making the administration appear to be granting important rights to the 600 or so prisoners held in Bagram, and distracting attention from the real reason for its purported generosity: a 76-page brief to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (PDF), submitted yesterday, in which the government attempted to claim that “Habeas rights under the United States Constitution do not extend to enemy aliens detained in the active war zone at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan.”

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