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I believe the United States should be able to hold foreign nationals without question for a certain amount of time, so as to take care of any immediate threats. Especially if they are captured while on the battlefield!

:——————Final Draft posted 4/19/05 9:20 pm——————:
Terrorism is a type of warfare against which there is no easy defense. The strategies of engagement are different for terrorists; therefore, the rules for containment and conviction should vary as well. Terrorism is a devious and almost unpredictable type of combat, because anyone could be the enemy. The terrorists do not wear battle uniforms, hold rifles, or march in formation. Terrorists are mixed into the general population and this poses a new and difficult situation when fighting against them. Because of the different approach this new enemy takes, the rules and principles for apprehending these war criminals and murderers should be changed and made blatantly clear. The United States government should be able to hold foreign nationals suspected of any connection with terrorism without rights for a predetermined amount of time.

Many news organizations and members of congress claim that President Bush has taken civil rights from the detainees at Guantánamo Bay. The concept of granting constitutional rights to non-U.S. citizens, who were suspected of trying to kill US citizens or soldiers, giving detrimental information about U.S. military positions and planning attacks against the United States, is outrageous. Whether it is a foreign national plotting and supplying information for an attack or a soldier directly attacking the United States, their status and treatment should not differ. The rights that are in question are the constitutional right to an attorney and the constitutional right to be informed of the formal charges against them. These are rights given to arrested U.S. citizens in the Bill of Rights. Amendment VI of the Bill of Rights states:
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense (The U.S. Constitution Online).
This amendment should apply to U.S. citizens only. It would be unreasonable for other countries, such as Great Britain, to apply citizenship rights to U.S. citizens. The only circumstance in which a suspected terrorist should be given such rights is if they are indeed a U.S. citizen. Even in that case, the government should have the authority to hold their rights in order to defeat any immediate threats to the United States. However, their rights should not be held indefinitely. This procedure is due to the nature of terrorism, the unpredictable and pressing threat against the United States.

The amount of time that any country may hold a foreign national, who is suspected of terrorism involvement, should be predetermined. A government should not be allowed to hold suspected terrorists or foreign nationals alike, for an indefinite period, without addressing the charges against them within the guidelines of the Geneva Conventions. The United States is in compliance with Geneva Conventions code regarding suspects held; specifically, “Prisoners of war should not be held in close confinement except for breaches of the law, although their liberty can be restricted for security reasons” (Peace Pledge Union). Prisoners of war may be restricted of their liberty for security reasons according to the Geneva Conventions. This is totally necessary and should be allowed, particularly if suspects are captured while in commission of an act of terrorism or in plotting an act of terrorism.

Prior to a hearing in January 2004, Solicitor General Theodore Olson expressed this view regarding the appeal by a U.S. citizen captured in Afghanistan and detained at Guantánamo Bay. Theodore said “…the president's actions have been both constitutional and necessary. ‘The detention of enemy combatants serves the vital wartime objectives of preventing captured combatants from continuing to aid the enemy and of yielding critical intelligence in advancement of the war effort’" (Richey). This is exactly the reason the government is detaining foreign nationals. Even if the detainee was not on the battlefield, they may be suspected of giving intelligence against the US military, and therefore, they must be detained. The government rightfully asserts that the President was given congressional authorization. The lawyers state “… Congress passed a joint resolution a week after the Sept. 11 attacks authorizing all the actions the President has taken in the war on terror. The resolution directs the President to ‘use all necessary and appropriate force’ against any person he determines is involved in efforts to conduct further acts of terrorism against the US” (Richey). This is also a source of approval for the President’s actions of detaining foreign nationals whether directly or indirectly involved in terrorism.

The question that arises is: who or what branch of government, domestic or international, has jurisdiction over such issues as detaining foreign nationals suspected of terrorism involvement? In 2003, the Human Rights Watch organization stated, “A federal judge ruled on July 30 that U.S. federal courts do not have jurisdiction to hear constitutional claims brought by aliens held by the United States outside U.S. sovereign territory” (Human Rights Watch). This ruling gives the United States government yet another basis for containing the foreign national detainees without trial. In 2003, thousands of detainees were captured during the war in Afghanistan. The government decisively did not list the captured detainees from the Taliban as prisoners-of-war, but insisted that they would be treated humanely according to the Geneva Convention. This act by the U.S. government had a crucial result. According to the Human Rights Watch organization, when the government “…assert[ed] that the Geneva Conventions did not apply to alleged members of al-Qaeda, the Bush administration undercut any legal basis for holding al-Qaeda suspects without trial” (Human Rights Watch). By saying the detainees are not prisoners-of-war they were able to bypass without question the Geneva Convention rule, which says, “Prisoners of war must receive due process and fair trials” (Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights). Although the convention states liberties may be withheld for security issues, it was easier for the United States to secure the nation by granting non-POW status to these detainees.

There is a generally vague interpretation and unclear jurisdiction of the Geneva Convention, the U.S. Constitution, and the U.S. Federal court rulings when it comes to detaining a foreign national suspected of terrorism. The problem arises, because never did the framers of the constitution foresee such a different, sneaky and volatile enemy as we face now. In 2004 the courts ruled, “…that foreign nationals held at Guantánamo Bay have a right to file habeas corpus petitions in federal court to challenge the legality of their detentions. ...it established that U.S. citizens are entitled at a minimum to a fair hearing on whether they are "enemy combatants" before they can be held for a sustained period” (Cole). According to this, all detainees, foreign and domestic, should have the right to a fair hearing before they can be held for long amounts of time. Now even the court’s rulings are being contradicted; “… a majority ruled that Congress's authorization of the use of military force against Al Qaeda and those who harbor them permits the executive to hold in military custody even U.S. citizens who are fighting for the enemy against us” (Cole). If even U.S. citizens were ruled to not have such rights, it goes without question that non-U.S. citizens should not have the rights either. This does, however, agree with the Geneva Conventions code that says, “… their [detainee] liberty can be restricted for security reasons” (Peace Pledge Union). The constant rulings and interpretations of existing, outdated laws and conventions have created confusion in an area the United States and the rest of the free world would like make perfectly clear.

A specific timeline for holding a suspected foreign national is never spelled out. This is the missing link that might close all the loopholes, and allow each and every detainee to appear before a judge with a lawyer eventually at the predetermined time. Instead of trying to interpret and bypass the existing systems, laws should be set up to address detaining foreign nationals suspected of terrorism. These laws should specify a certain amount of time one may be held without rights. This should be accomplished by drafting a new bill, or by calling for a new Geneva Code section that deals with suspected terrorist detainees, the new and different prisoner of recent war. Trying to conform to old laws and conventions, while dealing with a new and different enemy, who carries a new and different threat, calls for new and special legislation. The time frame a detainee can be held without rights should be a definite time period that allows the threat to be taken care of, but gives the detainee the chance to prove he or she was accidentally captured or mistakenly imprisoned. While countless rulings and conventions verify the legality of the United States’ actions, enacting new legislation will undoubtedly give the suspects needed rights and the United States the needed approval for its actions. Enacting new legislation that holds to the ideals and values that inspired the older laws and conventions is the only reasonable solution to this dilemma.





Works Cited
Cole, David. 2004. The Nation. 2004. “No Blank Check” [web page] July 2004; http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20040719&s=cole [Accessed 17 April 2005].
Human Rights Watch. 2003. “World Report 2003” [web page] http://www.hrw.org/wr2k3/us.html#guantanamo [Accessed 17 April 2005].
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. 2002. “Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War,” Convention III, Art. 82 - Art. 88. [web page] http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/91.htm [Accessed 17 April 2005].
Peace Pledge Union. “Geneva Convention, an introduction” [web page] http://www.ppu.org.uk/learn/texts/doc_geneva_con.html#top [Accessed 17 April 2005].
Richey, Warren. 2004. “Detainee cases hit court” [web page] Jan 2004; http://www.ballotpaper.org/archives/000041.html [Accessed 17 April 2005].
The U.S. Constitution Online 1995. [web page] March 2005; http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html#Am6 [Accessed 17 April 2005].








My general posistion...I believe the United States should be able to hold foreign nationals without question for a certain amount of time, so as to take care of any immediate threats. Especially if they are captured while on the battlefield! I would go even as far to say that if captured on the battlefield that they don't have to be tried in court and can be detained for as long as desired. They were trying to directly kill us, and in my head that person has no rights here. But nationals just gathered up from random places should have the chance for a trial.

The US government has the right to incarcerate foreign nationals suspected of terrorism without formal charges or the advice of an attorney.




Terrorism is a type of warfare that isn’t easily defended. The strategies of engagement are different for terrorists; therefore the rules for containment and conviction should vary as well. Terrorism is a devious and almost uncontrollable type of combat, because anyone could be the enemy. The terrorists do not wear battle uniforms, hold rifles, or march in formation. Terrorists are mixed within the general population so that poses a new and difficult situation in trying to fight against them. Because of the different approach this new enemy takes, the rules and principles for apprehending these war criminals and murderers should be changed to some extent and made blatantly clear. The United States government should be able to hold foreign nationals suspected of any connection with terrorism without rights for a predetermined amount of time.

Many news organizations and Democratic Party members of congress claim that President Bush has taken the civil rights from the detainees at Guantánamo Bay. The concept of granting constitutional rights to non-US citizens who were possibly trying to kill US citizens or US soldiers is outrageous. The rights that are in question are the constitutional right to an attorney and the constitutional right to be informed of the formal charges against them. These are rights given to arrested US citizens in the Bill of Rights. Amendment VI of the Bill of Rights states:
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense (US Constitution, Amendment VI).
This amendment should apply to US Citizens only. It would be unreasonable to apply rights in countries such as Great Britain to US citizens. The only circumstance in which a suspected terrorist should be given rights such as these is if they are indeed a US citizen. Even in that case, the government should have the authority to hold their rights so as to be able to take care of any immediate threats to the United States, however their rights should not be held indefinitely. This procedure is due to the nature of terrorism and the unpredictable and pressing threat against the United States.

The amount of time that a foreign national, suspected of terrorism involvement, is held without rights should be for a predetermined amount of time. The government should not be allowed to hold terrorists for an indefinite period without addressing the charges against them within the guidelines of the Geneva Conventions. The United States is fulfilling their obligation under the Geneva Conventions code; specifically, “Prisoners of war should not be held in close confinement except for breaches of the law, although their liberty can be restricted for security reasons” (http://www.ppu.org.uk/learn/texts/doc_geneva_con.html#4). Prisoners of war can be restricted of their liberty for security reasons according to the Geneva Conventions. This is totally necessary and should be allowed particularly if they are captured while in commission of the act of terrorism. Further, I would say that if captured on the battlefield shooting at the United States Army they should not have to be tried in court and can be detained for as long as deemed necessary by the United States government.

The question that arises is who or what branch of government, domestic or international, has jurisdiction over such issues as detaining foreign nationals suspected of terrorism. In 2003, Human Rights Watch organization states, “A federal judge ruled on July 30 that U.S. federal courts do not have jurisdiction to hear constitutional claims brought by aliens held by the United States outside U.S. sovereign territory” (http://www.hrw.org/wr2k3/us.html#guantanamo). This ruling gives the United States government yet another basis for containing the foreign national detainees without trial. In 2003, thousands of detainees were captured during the war in Afghanistan. The government decisively did not list the captured detainees from the Taliban as prisoners-of-war, but insisted that they would be treated humanely according to the Geneva Convention. This act by the US government had a crucial result. According to the Human Rights Watch organization, when the government “…assert[ed] that the Geneva Conventions did not apply to alleged members of al-Qaeda, the Bush administration undercut any legal basis for holding al-Qaeda suspects without trial” (ttp://www.hrw.org/wr2k3/us.html#guantanamo). By saying the detainees are not prisoners-of-war they were able to bypass without question the Geneva Convention rule that says, “Prisoners of war must receive due process and fair trials” (Convention III, Art. 82 through Art. 88). Although the convention says liberties can be held for security issues, it was easier for the United States to secure the nation by granting non-POW status to these detainees.

There is a generally vague interpretation and unclear jurisdiction of the Geneva Convention, the US Constitution, and the US Federal court rulings when it comes to detaining a foreign national. The problem arises because never did the framers foresee such a different, sneaky, and volatile enemy as we face now. In 2004 the courts ruled “…that foreign nationals held at Guantánamo Bay have a right to file habeas corpus petitions in federal court to challenge the legality of their detentions. ...it established that US citizens are entitled at a minimum to a fair hearing on whether they are "enemy combatants" before they can be held for a sustained period” (http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20040719&s=cole). According to this, all detainees, foreign and domestic, should have the right to a fair hearing before they can be held for long amounts of time. Now even the court’s rulings are being contradicted “… a majority ruled that Congress's authorization of the use of military force against Al Qaeda and those who harbor them permits the executive to hold in military custody even US citizens who are fighting for the enemy against us” (http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20040719&s=cole). If even US citizens were ruled to not have rights until the government decides to give them, it goes without question that non-US citizens should not have the rights either. This does however agree with the Geneva Conventions code that says, “… their [detainee] liberty can be restricted for security reasons” (http://www.ppu.org.uk/learn/texts/doc_geneva_con.html#4). The constant rulings and interpretations of existing outdated laws and conventions have made a mess of an area the United States and the rest of the world would like to be perfectly clear.

Never is a specific timeline spelled out. This is the missing link that might close all the loopholes, and allow each and every detainee to appear before a judge with a lawyer eventually at the predetermined time. Instead of trying to interpret and bypass the existing systems, laws should be set up to address detaining foreign national detainees for a certain amount of time without rights. This should be accomplished by drafting a new bill, or by calling for a new Geneva Code section that deals with terrorism detainees, the new and different prisoner of recent war. To try and conform to the old laws and conventions while dealing with a new and different enemy that carries a new and different threat calls for special legislation. The time frame a detainee can be held without rights should be a definite time that allows the threat to be taken care of, but gives the detainee the chance to prove he or she was accidentally captured or mistakenly imprisoned. Enacting new legislation, with a specific time element, and holding to the older laws and conventions’ ideals and values is the only reasonable solution to this problem.

Contributed by Hondezy
my comments:
also it won't show it but the long quote will be a block quote... meaning no apostrophe and i think 1 inch margins on each side? is that correct?

EVALUATIONS ON 1st Draft for Hondezy

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