John Moore / Getty Images
The war in Afghanistan lasted nearly 20 years. One of its major architects, former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, died last month. And this week, President Biden said US military operations there would end on August 31, 2001, the shy 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.
So what does that mean for Gitmo? After all, a US military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was created to contain enemy fighters captured in Afghanistan and the so-called war on terrorism. What happens to the prisoners of the war if the Afghanistan conflict ends?
Here are five questions and answers about what will happen to Guantanamo’s prison at the end of the conflict in Afghanistan.
First, remind me: how many prisoners remain in Gitmo?
Guantanamo has held nearly 800 people over the years, but now only 40 have been imprisoned and nearly three-quarters have never been criminally charged. They are known as “eternal prisoners” and are detained indefinitely. Some have been there for almost 20 years.
How did the US government justify detaining them without prosecuting them for crimes?
The legal basis for Guantanamo is that after 9/11, Congress passed a “permit to use military force” in 2001 to track down the person responsible for attacks such as al-Qaeda and the Taliban. The law empowers the president during the war, claiming that the government includes the ability to detain prisoners without charge or trial.
However, it is unclear when those powers will expire and what the parameters of the war are. It is also unclear whether the United States can justify the permanent detention of prisoners because of the larger and irregular war on terrorism. As a result, whether the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan can be considered an ongoing war after the fighters leave the main battlefield, and whether prisoners must be released after the withdrawal of troops. It raises complex legal issues, such as please.
“Without troops in Afghanistan, it would be difficult for governments and district courts to say:’Yes, you said the war was over, and there were no troops in the field, and no one was shooting. No, but the war is going on. ” “It would be difficult to say that with a naive face.”
Is there a court that helped with this?
Yes, proceedings have been filed on these issues, and courts have generally avoided addressing whether these vast presidential war powers are specific to a particular region. Instead, the court could point out the war in Afghanistan as a legitimate reason for detaining detainees. However, human rights activists and detainee lawyers say that the war must have defined boundaries, so we can know when and when to release prisoners.
“One of the worries of the last two decades has been whether the war on terror has spread across the border between Afghanistan and nearby Pakistan,” said Guantanamo Defense Attorney Michel Paradis. “Is the war against Afghanistan’s Alcaida and the Taliban, or is it a war on terrorism, or is it a war against the ideology of Alcaida and Alcaida, a war against an organization separated from Alcaida? Kaida?”
Or has the war on terror become a “rhetorical war”, similar to drug wars, poverty wars, and cancer wars, and has not communicated prosecution rights such as imprisoning people indefinitely?
“There are some pretty big problems, but just because the war in Afghanistan is going on, these discussions could be largely avoided,” said Paradis, who also teaches at Columbia Law School. Said.
Critics of Guantanamo say it makes no sense to claim that the war has ended with the aim of returning the troops, but the war continues with the purpose of detaining those captured by those troops.
However, some Senate Republicans say releasing these prisoners would endanger the country, and the Justice Department claims the United States has the power to detain accused terrorists indefinitely. I keep doing it.
“We have continued the war with al-Qaeda,” said DOJ lawyer Stephen M. Elliott at a May hearing at the US District Court in Washington, DC, a former member of the Afghanistan militia in Guantanamo. Said in the case involving. 2007.
Al Qaeda is “changing and evolving,” Elliott said, and the US “war on terrorism” continues.
Now that the United States is leaving Afghanistan, Mr Paradis said he assumes that Guantanamo prisoners are preparing a new legal allegation that will eventually land in the Supreme Court.
“I can imagine at least a few detainees saying they couldn’t detain me, because I’ve been released for decades because you’ve been detaining me all the time. Because I claim it was, I would be in danger in the war in Afghanistan. ” “Without it, why are you still holding me?”
What if the prisoner wins the debate?
It’s tricky because the United States has to find a country to take them and some of the prisoners come from a collapsed country like Yemen. However, since President Biden took office, at least six Guantanamo inmates have been allowed to move to other countries.
Still, Guantanamo’s defense lawyer, Wells Dixon, points out that just because the transfer is approved doesn’t mean they’re imminent. ,” He said.
Still, does cleaning up prisoners for release lay the foundation for emptying and closing Gitmo’s prison?
Okay. Paradis said: “The more individuals allowed to be released, the smaller and smaller the population of detainees each day, so it is easy to close Guantanamo.”
Nevertheless, the Justice Department has the purpose of crossing the Biden administration by opposing legal allegations filed by Gitmo prisoners, said Dixon, a senior lawyer at the Constitutional Rights Center.
“Given the president’s declaration that the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and the conflict is over, why does the US government continue to reflexively fight the detainees’ case?” Dixon asked. “Given the president’s mission to close prisons, looking at what the Justice Department and other agencies are doing, they are in direct conflict with each other.”
However, due to legal debates that US troops will detain Gitomo prisoners indefinitely as they leave Afghanistan, Biden and the Justice Department could eventually enter the same page, eventually in Guantanamo’s military prison. May be closed.
The withdrawal of the United States from Afghanistan “I think it will put a lot of pressure on the government, and more generally in the proceedings, to claim that the armed conflict is over,” said Farley, defense lawyer for Guantanamo. , “And the detention authorities have evaporated.”
What happens to Guantanamo prisoners when Biden pulls troops out of Afghanistan? : NPR
Source link What happens to Guantanamo prisoners when Biden pulls troops out of Afghanistan? : NPR