Found not guilty, sentenced to life imprisonment ?

Now that charges have finally been filed against David Hicks, it occurred to me to wonder what would happen if the trial proceeds and he is acquitted. The answer, it appears, is nothing. More precisely, if acquitted, Hicks will go back to Guantanamo Bay unless and until the US Administration chooses to release him.

That at least was the situation in 2002 according to this article by Ronald Dworkin, stating that the Pentagon reserves the right to hold detainees indefinitely, regardless of the trial outcome. And a group of Chinese Uighurs were held at Guantanamo for more than a year after military review panels had determined that they were not enemy combatants. This Wikipedia article includes a statement by Rumsfeld to the same effect.

Maybe this has been changed by the legislation passed last year. But if so, I can’t find any evidence to this effect. In fact, by removing any rights for aliens declared as enemy combatants by the Administration, the Military Commissions Act appears to confirm the power claimed by Rumsfeld to hold Hicks (or any non-citizen) without any resort to habeas corpus and regardless of any trial outcome.

80 thoughts on “Found not guilty, sentenced to life imprisonment ?

  1. “Silly claims that the Gitmo detention policy is consistent with the Geneva conventions are neither amusing nor worth refuting. JQ”

    As noted here

  2. Dave, this is my site and I can publish what I want here. If you want to publish your views, find a site where you’re welcome or start your own blog. I’m not stopping you. And please stop whining about censorship. You sound like the most annoying kind of lefty

  3. JQ while listening to someone from the Australian Defense Association on the 7.30 Report saying that indefinite detention of non-combatants was legal under the Geneva convention. Taking a guess this is more to do with the problems stemming that this isn’t a conventional ‘war’ which like the war on drugs, is something could go on for ever.

    Come to think of it using the same rationale we may be able to ‘detain’ indefinitely all drug users and pushers as non-combatants and do away with courts and the like! Why didn’t they think of this before?!!

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