U.S. Court of Appeals Upholds Military Commissions for Detainees

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Thursday, September 1, 2005
Bruce Zagaris
On July 15, 2005, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia overturned a lower-court decision invalidating the use of military commissions to try detainees. The appellate court decision, unless overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, will allow the Defense Department to use commissions to try some of the hundreds of detainees. Salim Hamdan was captured by Afghani militia forces in Afghanistan in late November 2001. They turned him over to the U.S. military, which transported him to the Guantanamo Bay Naval base in Cuba. The military kept him in the general detention facility, Camp Delta. On July 3, 2003, President Bush determined "that there is reason to believe that [Hamdan] was a member of al Qaeda or was otherwise involved in terrorism directed against the United States...[more]