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U.S. Wont Label Terror Suspects as Combatants
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of New York Times

New York Times, March 14, 2009
Posted: March 21st, 2009

The Obama administration said Friday that it would abandon the Bush administrations term enemy combatant as it argues in court for the continued detention of prisoners at Guantnamo Bay, Cuba, in a move that seemed intended to symbolically separate the new administration from Bush detention policies. But in a much anticipated court filing, the Justice Department argued that the president has the authority to detain terrorism suspects there without criminal charges, much as the Bush administration had asserted. It provided a broad definition of those who can be held, which was not significantly different from the one used by the Bush administration. The filing signaled that, as long as Guantnamo remains open, the new administration will aggressively defend its ability to hold some detainees there. The filing, in Federal District Court in Washington, was meant to provide a definition of those detainees who can be held and bitterly disappointed critics of Guantnamo, who said it seemed to continue the policies they have criticized for more than seven years. It was the latest example of the Obama administrations taking ownership of Guantnamo, even after having announced it would close the prison, where 241 men remain. This seems fundamentally consistent with the positions of the prior administration, said Steven A. Engel, who was a senior lawyer responsible for detainee issues in the Justice Departments Office of Legal Counsel until the final day of the Bush administration.

Note: For lots more on the "war on terrorism", click here.

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