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kpete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-09-08 12:58 PM
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Memo Proves Detention Is Illegal, Attorneys Say
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Memo Proves Detention Is Illegal, Attorneys Say
By Jerry Markon
The Washington Post

Wednesday 09 April 2008

An accused "enemy combatant" told an appellate court yesterday that a controversial Justice Department memorandum exploring the legal boundaries of military interrogations proves that his detention was illegal.


The memo, declassified and released last week, asserted broad presidential powers in a time of war. It argued that federal laws prohibiting maiming and other crimes did not apply to military interrogators who questioned al-Qaeda captives because the president's authority as commander in chief overrode such statutes. Legal experts said they believe Marri is the first prisoner to cite the memo as evidence in his own case.

Although Justice Department officials told the Defense Department to stop relying on the memo nine months after it was issued, President Bush designated Marri as an enemy combatant before the memo was withdrawn. The designation relied in part on an opinion from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, where the memo's author, John C. Yoo, was then a deputy, the government has said in court filings.

"The memo makes plain as day that al-Marri was declared an enemy combatant based on discredited legal opinions and for the illegal purpose of abusive interrogations," Jonathan Hafetz, an attorney with the Brennan Center for Justice who represents Marri, said yesterday. Defense attorneys contend that Marri, who is being held at a Navy brig in South Carolina, has been subjected to such interrogation methods as sleep deprivation and being forced to stand in uncomfortable positions for long periods.

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