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Reporting the Hamdi Decision

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→ http://volokh.blogspot.com/2003_01_05_volokh_archive.html#90...

Today, a decision came down saying that it is legal to detain US Citizens caught fighting with an enemy army outside of US soil as enemy combatants. This seems to be a reasonable position for them to take.

I'm somewhat upset with the way this decision was reported. Newsnight did not mention the outside of US soil requirement involved with the decision, which the Volokh analysis (linked above) points out is an important part of the decision. CNN's coverage made it seem that the President could classify anyone as an enemy combatant, and suspend their civil rights. That's a somewhat scary proposition.

Thankfully, this isn't the case. Since the only way that the US can enforce its will outside US soil is through military force, it makes sense for people captured this way to be processed by the military system, regardless of that person's citizenship status.

- Tom | permalink | changelog | Last updated: 2003-01-08 22:50

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