8 former officials in Justice Dept. slam detainee law
Former Attorney General Janet Reno and seven other former Justice Department officials filed court papers Monday arguing that the Bush administration...
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Former Attorney General Janet Reno and seven other former Justice Department officials filed court papers Monday arguing that the Bush administration is setting a dangerous precedent by trying a suspected terrorist outside the court system.
It was the first time Reno, attorney general in the Clinton administration, has spoken out against the administration's policies on terrorism detainees.
Suspected al-Qaida sleeper agent Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri is the only detainee being held in the United States. The former prosecutors challenged the Justice Department's right to bring al-Marri before a military commission.
Al-Marri, a citizen of Qatar, was arrested in 2001 while studying in the United States. He had faced criminal charges until authorities designated him an enemy combatant and ordered him held at a naval base in South Carolina.
The Justice Department said in court papers last week that a new anti-terrorism law strips detainees such as al-Marri of the right to challenge their imprisonment in court.
"The government is essentially asserting the right to hold putative enemy combatants arrested in the United States indefinitely whenever it decides not to prosecute those people criminally — perhaps because it would be too difficult to obtain a conviction, [or] perhaps because a motion to suppress evidence would raise embarrassing facts about the government's conduct," the former Justice Department officials said.
Some of the eight attorneys named in the document represent detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Most served under President Clinton, though the list includes former U.S. Attorneys W. Thomas Dillard and Anton Valukas, who served under President Reagan.
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.
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