Zoriah Miller / zoriah.com
Detention without trial has long been recognized as an appropriate and necessary means of dealing with enemy fighters during wartime. If the United States could lock up German soldiers during World War II without trying them criminally, why should it not have the same option for al Qaeda fighters?
While democratic governments have experimented with preventive detention on security groundsthe British internment of Irish nationalists comes to mindsreliance on preventive detention is typically a hallmark of repressive regimes.
It is evident that the traditional rules associated with determining eligibility for military detention do not map onto the non-state actor scenario terribly well. . . . Whether Cole has identified an appropriate blend of substantive detention criteria and procedural safeguards, however, is less clear.
Cole’s proposal to expand powers of preventive detention against members of al Qaeda, while reasonable within the narrow scope of his agenda, fails to come to terms with the overall problem that 9/11 demands we recognize.