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Bagram detainees want to use U.S. Constitution to argue for release

Posted by The Agonist on July 17th, 2012

From our partners at The Agonist

Michael Doyle | Washington | July 16

McClatchy – Prisoners held without trial for years at an American air base in Afghanistan shouldn’t be able to challenge their indefinite detention with the help of the U.S. Constitution, Obama administration attorneys argued Monday.

Reinforcing a hard-line view that’s prevailed in past court battles, the administration said again that the foreign-born detainees at Bagram Air Field lacked the habeas corpus rights that the U.S. Supreme Court has extended to those held at the American naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

“We want to prevent enemy fighters from returning to the battlefield,” Justice Department attorney Jean Lin told a federal judge, while adding that “the United States does not intend to hold anyone longer than necessary.”

About 3,200 prisoners reportedly are being held at Bagram, including about 50 who aren’t natives of Afghanistan. The latter prisoners are the ones whose legal rights are now on the line.

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