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JAG Officer: Indefinite Detention ‘Defies Common Sense’

Publication Date: 
January 27, 2010
William Fisher

Lecturer Joe W. "Chip" Pitts, also President of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, is quoted in this article on indefinite detention at Guantánamo:

President Obama’s decision to detain 47 of the just-under 200 remaining prisoners at Guantánamo without trial indefinitely is drawing scorn from legal experts and human rights advocates, who charge that the government simply does not have enough evidence to convict the detainees it says can not be tried but are “too dangerous to release.”


And Chip Pitts, president of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, asked, “How is this any better than Guantanamo itself and the spur such approaches give to al Qaeda?”

He told IPS, “No legal system worthy of the name can possibly imprison people indefinitely on the shameful argument that they are, in the absence of evidence and a fair trial, ‘too dangerous to release’.”

He called the move a “significant calcification of the lawless Bush approach of holding (often tortured) detainees indefinitely -- effectively, perhaps for life -- until the conclusion of some endless ‘war on terror’,” but said it is “actually undermining vital cooperation from European and Muslim allies, support for the rule of law itself and our country’s national standing and historical legacy.”