Al Qaeda

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  • 15 Mar 2010
    Jordan J. Paust

    The Court-Martial: A Lawful Alternative

    The Al-Qaeda Seven controversy is all over the news. At the center of the debate are Justice Department attorneys who once represented terrorism detainees. Maligned by some for being un-American, their patriotism and their values called into question, and defended by others for protecting the liberties of unpopular clients, the story of the Al-Qaeda Seven calls into question the fundamental constitutional boundaries of our government. Ultimately, though, these Seven are a conduit for a larger conversation that we need to be having about the prosecution of suspected terrorists: Where should we try members of Al-Qaeda and the Taliban? Jordan J. Paust, author of Beyond the Law: The Bush Administration’s Unlawful Responses in the “War” on Terror, asks just that in a new op-ed for Jurist. With vim, vigor, and vision, he suggests that we must look beyond the two forums offered by the Obama Administration – federal district court or US military commission – to consider a third option: military court-martial.

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