On Wednesday a federal court in Washington, D.C., heard the first major challenge to the Trump administration’s policy on Guantánamo Bay — a case arguing against the ongoing detention of eight of the 40 Muslim men still left at the island prison. The judge’s decision in the case could impact any future attempt to bring detainees to the detention center and torture site, and become a judgment on the United States’s endless war on terror.
Twenty-six prisoners at Guantánamo remain detained without charge or trial, including the eight men represented in court Wednesday, who have been at Guantánamo between 10 and 16 years. Two of them have been cleared for release by a government review panel. Lawyers from the Center for Constitutional Rights, along with other attorneys, are challenging the prisoners’ detention both as a violation of due process and also under the laws of war as dictated by the authorization for the use of military force, or AUMF.
Passed by Congress in 2001, the AUMF granted the executive branch license to “use all necessary and appropriate force” against individuals or groups responsible for the 9/11 attacks or those who helped them. Critics say the law is now being stretched beyond recognition to legalize military action around the globe, including against groups that did not exist in 2001.
While the government originally used the broad powers granted by the AUMF to justify the detention of their clients, CCR attorneys argued that this authority has since “unraveled.” Under the AUMF, limited detention was justified for the narrow purpose of preventing the return of the detainees to the battlefield. Calling today’s war on terror an “amorphous, interminable morass” and a “conflict disconnected from reality,” CCR urged the court to recognize the vastly different landscape from when the AUMF was passed by Congress.
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Source: The Intercept_