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Oleskey: Congressional Testimony, 26 July 2007

On July 26, 2007, Stephen Oleskey, partner at Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale and Dorr LLP, gave testimony before the Armed Services Committee of the US House of Representatives. This testimony was part of hearings on upholding the right of habeas corpus to detainees. CSHRA has lifted from these hearings Mr. Oleskey's prepared remarks and his answers to the questions posed to him by the committee. They are posted below. For the full hearing, click here.

Prepared Remarks

My name is Stephen Oleskey. I am a partner in the law firm of Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale and Dorr. I appear today to testify in support of H.R. 2826, filed by the chairman and other members of this committee, to restore habeas corpus to the approximately 375 men detained in Guantanamo.

Since July 2004, my firm has been representing pro bono in habeas corpus proceedings six men from Bosnia. These men were living with their wives and children in Bosnia in October 2001. Bosnia was far from any battlefield. The U.S. government insisted that the Bosnian government arrest the six on suspicion of planning to blow up the U.S. embassy in Sarajevo. The Bosnians said they had no evidence of any such plot. The U.S. said it wanted the men arrested anyway immediately, and so they were.

The men were held for 90 days while an extensive investigation, which included our own FBI agents, was carried out under the supervision of a judge of the Bosnian supreme court. The men's homes and offices were searched for incriminating evidence, but no evidence of any such plot was uncovered.

After 90 days under Bosnian law, the Bosnian judge ordered the men released for lack of evidence. There were rumors, however, that the men would be sent by the U.S. to a new prison in Cuba. Therefore, their lawyers sought and obtained an order from the Bosnian human rights chamber court, set out by the Dayton Accords prohibiting such an action.

At the U.S. insistence, however, the men were sent immediately to Cuba. They arrived on January 20, 2002 and have been kept there without charge or trial for five years, seven months and six days. We filed habeas petitions for them in July 2004. We have devoted thousands of hours to investigating their case, including visiting them 11 times in Cuba.

The men were all labeled as enemy combatants in the fall of 2004 by CSRT panels. Let me remind you briefly how that CSRT system was created in seven days in early July 2004 by then-Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz immediately after a Supreme Court decision held there must be some formal process to hold men without trial indefinitely in Guantanamo.

The administration has said these men can be held until the end of the war on terror. This means, as Justice O'Connor wrote in 2004, that they can be held the rest of their lives, and all as a result of a CSRT process in which they had no counsel, were not told what the secret evidence was against them, could offer no witnesses except fellow prisoners, and could offer no documents to rebut the very sweeping general claims made against them in the secret evidence.

If all that was not enough of a stacked deck, all the evidence the government gave the CSRT, whatever the source or quality, was presumed by the Wolfowitz order to be correct.

In 2004, in the Rasul decision, the Supreme Court appeared to say that all Guantanamo habeas corpus cases could go forward on the merits in federal district court. Then, in 2005, in the Detainee Treatment Act, a previous Congress provided for limited review of CSRT decisions by the Court of Appeals in Washington. But this review was confined to whether the CSRTs had complied with their own procedures. You will hear today from me and Lieutenant Colonel Abraham how one-sided these procedures were and how grossly unfairly they were applied.

Then, in 2006, the last Congress passed the Military Commissions Act. This act sought to strip habeas corpus rights from any alien anywhere in the world seized by our military and labeled enemy combatant by a CSRT.

Last week's decision by the D.C. Court of Appeals on preliminary procedural issues in the first cases heard under the DTA underscores how inadequate that review process is compared to a habeas procedure before a federal trial judge.

We are left with a host of unresolved questions about what a Court of Appeals review of each CSRT will involve and how long it will take to resolve even a single case. These unresolved issues are not surprising. Usually, but not here, an appellate court reviews a detailed record of a lower trial court or federal administrative proceeding in which lawyers were present for all parties. Usually, but not here, recognized rules of evidence are applied.

Usually, but not here, there is no issue of evidence arising from torture or coercion. Usually, but not here, all parties are able to offer documents, witnesses, and cross-examine each other. But none of this happened for any detainee in the hundreds of CSRTs that took place.

Let me give you three brief examples from our own six cases of how truly unfair these CSRTs were and why habeas review is required. All detainees were declared enemy combatants based almost entirely on secret evidence they were not allowed to see, much less able to rebut.

As our client, Mustafa Ait Idir, said to his CSRT panel,"You say I am al Qaeda, and I say I am not. You say I am al Qaeda based on evidence that you cannot show me and that I cannot respond to. Maybe if you tell me who says this, I can say I know this man from somewhere and I can respond. But this way I can do nothing. Excuse me, but if someone said this to me in my country, we would laugh."

Mr. Ait Idir and another of our clients asked that the decision of the Bosnian supreme court from January 2002, that they be released immediately for lack of evidence, be given to their panels. Obviously this would be an important fact to consider. Both panels found this publicly filed legal document, available on the Web and in our pleadings, not reasonably available. Not one of the six panels for our clients ever saw this important document.

Let me give you a third example of how fundamentally unfair these procedures were. The procedures allowed detainees to call reasonably available witnesses. One of our clients asked that his panel contact his boss at the Red Crescent Society of Abu Dhabi in Sarajevo, where he was a full-time employee doing relief work with Bosnian orphans when arrested. The panel declared the witness was not reasonably available. Three months after this finding, I went to Sarajevo, I picked up the local telephone book, found a number for the Red Crescent Society and called the witness. Within 24 hours, I had interviewed him. He confirmed my client's account of his employment and outstanding character, an account that his CSRT never heard.

As these and many other examples show, the CSRT process was too full of holes for any court of appeals to patch years later. Based on our expensive -- extensive experience and observation, the CSRT process is disgraced and disgraceful. No amount of limited tinkering with individual CSRT proceedings by a federal appeals court is likely to produce a fair result because the CSRT process was not designed to be fair or to consider objectively whether to continue to hold these men. Finally, let me tell you a few important facts about a habeas hearing. Habeas is not a jury trial. It is a hearing by an Article III federal judge alone, one who reviews habeas petitions frequently. Habeas hearings are not exotic. They are routine. There were 22,000 habeas petitions filed last year in the federal courts. We are talking only of an additional 375.

Habeas is not a criminal trial. There will be no miranda issues. The only issues for a habeas judge will be one, whether the government's evidence before the court is sufficient to hold the detainee indefinitely or two -- in some cases -- whether the detainee can be transferred by the government to another country where he fears torture. The habeas standard will not be the criminal law standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, but a lesser standard of review. The habeas judge will independently review the evidence he or she considers relevant whether that evidence was given to the CSRT or not and that judge will look at exonerating evidence for the first time, virtually none of which was provided to any CSRT panel.

Finally under habeas, the trial judge can order a detainee released in a proper case instead of being sent back for yet another CSRT. In a habeas hearing, American citizens can have some confidence there's likely to be a fair and finally decision thoughtfully arrived at. Contrast this with Brigadier General Jay Hood's statement several years ago in the press. He had been in charge of Guantanamo. Quote, "Sometimes we just didn't get the right folks, but nobody wants to be the one to sign the release orders. There's no muscle in the system," unquote. The federal trail judge in a habeas hearing will put some muscle in the system, and some muscle is what the chairman's bill will provide. The jury-built seven-day CSRT process needs finality and certainty, not endless do-overs where the Court of Appeals sends cases bouncing back to yet another CSRT and the case then rebounds again back to the appeals court while more years pass.

HR 2826 brings integrity and finality to this process. It restores the habeas rights that the last Congress took away. It leaves the federal trial judges -- not appellate judges -- what trial judges do every day and do very well -- sift the evidence, assess it, decide what other evidence a detainee should be allowed to offer. In a habeas case, the trial judge, not three military officers, decides whether there is -- the government has shown enough to justify holding a detainee for a lifetime or should instead now be released. Yes, let us take the truly evil men who our military seize on the real battlefields in this world, put them on trial in federal court or in appropriate cases before a military commission. There've been over 300 terrorists convicted or who pled guilty in recent years in federal court. By passing HR 2826, this committee can begin to restore the confidence of the rest of the world that this great country remains a shining example of a nation committed to living by the rule of law, no matter how a new enemy -- our new enemies provoke us to experiment with seven-day fixes and seemingly stacked decks.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee.


REP. SKELTON: […] Mr. Oleskey, in your opening statement you highlighted the reasons why the CSRTs and its appeal are not adequate. Would you please review again the reasons why you believe that the Supreme Court will find that the current system does substitute that for habeas, please.

MR. OLESKEY: I couldn't hear the end of the question, Mr. Chairman, I'm sorry.

REP. SKELTON: Why it's not a substitute for habeas.

MR. OLESKEY: I think the Supreme Court will find it's not a substitute because it doesn't allow, in the DTA process, any real challenge to the evidence that was available to the governments in the CSRT. It's going to be impossible, in reviewing the record in a court of appeals, to call witnesses, offer affidavits -- perhaps to offer documents that weren't included in the CSRT file. It's only a record review of what happened in Guantanamo, and what the statute says is that the court of appeals should review that record to see if the military complied with its own procedures.

The burden of the testimony today is that, in their creation and in their implementation, those procedures were fundamentally unfair. I don't believe -- and many other lawyers and commentators don't believe, that in that circumstance the system can be found to be an adequate substitute for habeas and it will not be so found.

REP. BARTLETT: […] I'd like all of you to answer why should we be looking for a substitute for habeas corpus? Why should we invite the criticism of the world?

MR. OLESKEY: My response, Congressman, is that we shouldn't. You've addressed some of the issues why the Military Commissions Act doesn't substitute for habeas. Just to be clear in view of the prior testimony, the Appeals Court will be reviewing what the record is from the CSRT and it's -- and whether it complied with its own procedures. Those procedures, as you just pointed out, allow evidence based on coercion or torture. Those provisions allowed the CSRT to determine what was reasonably available. The Circuit Court could find that my client's boss' testimony in Sarajevo wasn't reasonably available, by in habeas I could supplement that with an affidavit. I probably can't do that in the Court of Appeals. And the Court of Appeals last week and the decision Mr. Philbin's talking about -- the Bismullah decision -- rejected attorney-client privilege by allowed mail that I sent my client in Guantanamo -- I can't get there very often. I have to fly there when the military allows me to. So mail is a really important way for me to communicate with my clients.

The Appeals Court felt under the Military Commission Act and the DTA it had to what the government wanted, which was to say, that the government can screen my correspondence with my clients about their case and if I object that, that they can go ahead and tell somebody in Guantanamo or in the Defense Department what it is I'm objecting to about the correspondence that I'm having with my clients. Habeas and the existing protective order that exists in the district court under the original cases won't allow that kind of interference in a very basic right that's critical to effective representation of anybody, particularly where a potential indefinite life sentence may be the result.

REP. ADAM SMITH (D-WA): […] I'm curious on your thoughts on the judicial review process and why it is not an adequate substitute in this case for habeas?

MR. OLESKEY: Well, first, because, as several speakers have pointed out among the Congress and here, coerced testimony -- testimony procured by torture -- can and apparently was admitted in the CSRTs and may stand on review by the Appeals Court.

Second, because as you just pointed out, Congressman, by specific command of the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005, the Appeals Court review is limited to reviewing the record. And Mr. Philbin says, well, the appeals court just said last week it can go to what was -- what would have been reasonably available, but that leaves out all kinds of evidence that an advocate would want a fact finder to have in the first instance, and therefore in review, if that fact finder was going to say you can be locked up for the rest of your life based on this kind of a limited review.

So it is a limited review. It ultimately will turn on what an appeals court says was or should have been reasonably available. So that's a limit placed by Congress. It's a limit placed by Congress to determine whether the procedures were followed -- and those procedures were written by Paul Wolfowitz in seven days. And as to the point about taking time and money, you know, there are 22,000 habeas reviews a year. We're talking about 375 --

REP. SMITH: At most.

MR. OLESKEY: At most. And these are not new skills for these trial judges to learn. It's what they do. It's not what appeals court judges do. These are very smart, talented judges in the circuit here. They're very respected judges, but they're now being asked to do something by Congress that they shouldn't be asked to do by making these reviews.

REP. LORETTA SANCHEZ (D-CA): […] I want to ask the panel, do you believe that enemy POWs or detainees have a constitutional right to habeas? And, if so, what is the basis of your view? What limitations would such a right have? And, if so, why was the court wrong in Eisentrager? And would you favor the statutory right of habeas corpus to apply everywhere, to all enemy POWs? For example, would you have granted it to Iraqi prisoners captured in Kuwait during the first Gulf War, to go into the federal courts in D.C. and to challenge their capture on the battlefield? Would you have permitted German POWs captured in North Africa or Sicily in 1943 the right to challenge their internment through habeas? And we can start down at the end.

MR. OLESKEY: I'll be happy to start, Congresswoman.

Johnson and Eisentrager, the case at the end of World War II, involved prisoners who had been through military commissions with lawyers, trials. Evidence was taken. It was a regular procedure that you have some confidence in. The Supreme Court looked at that and said,"We'll examine whether habeas should apply to German prisoners who did acts in China who were held in an allied war prison in Germany. We don't think that habeas should extend that far." It never has, so it didn't go any further.

Then, in the Hamdi and Rasul cases, as you say, in 2004, they looked at the people in Guantanamo and said, "You know, this is, under that lease the United States had since 2001 that gives us a unilateral right to be there, this is essentially part of the United States. These people didn't get the screening POWs get under Geneva or Army Regulation 19 (E-80 ?) on the battlefield, unlike what happened in the first Gulf War, or in most other wars that I'm aware of. Therefore, there needs to be some process put in place now.

REP. SANCHEZ: But now we have the MCA. Do you believe that they have a constitutional right to habeas now that we have the MCA?

MR. OLESKEY: The Supreme Court has said in some cases that fundamental rights under the Constitution can extend outside the continental United States. It addressed in the Rasul case -- in a footnote that's been much discussed, it said,"If what these men are alleging is found to be correct, it would make our conduct in violation of the Constitution, statutes or laws of the United States." That's as far as the Supreme Court has gone.

My own view is that the right to be free from indefinite imprisonment without a hearing is so fundamental. It is in the Constitution. It's right there. The framers put it in Article I, Section 9 --

REP. SANCHEZ: And it applies to United States citizens and those people within our boundaries. So would you extend it to Sicily? Would you extend it to the war in Iraq? And I need to -- after you answer that, I really need to move on. I want to hear the other --

MR. OLESKEY: I'm only advocating today for this bill, which does not extend it to those places, does not extend it to battlefields; talks about restoring habeas for Guantanamo, where my clients are.

REP. THELMA DRAKE (R-VA): […] I wanted to ask about, and to me it's really apparent and, I think, to everyone that our terrorist enemies are really adept at public relations, much better than we are. They've proven quite capable of using the World Wide Web to promote their message, their hate, and to recruit others to their cause. So the question is if additional rights are extended to unlawful, enemy combatants, would you agree that this would greatly assist their efforts to recruit other people to their cause?

And the second question I have is, if we do extend habeas rights to unlawful enemy-combatants, what would be the expectation for our military at that point? Are they now going to be charged with collecting evidence? Are they going to have a dual role as a warfighter and as a police officer to compile this information? And so what would their role be?

Those two questions -- what impact it will have on what appears to be the success of our enemy -- and we all know from previous NIE reports that the one thing that will destroy them is if they believe and the world believes that they're losing. And I think this argument would give them the opportunity to think that there's one more thing they're winning on.

MR. OLESKEY: Congressman, let me start off on that. The issue of the rights extension troubles me because -- I have been to Guantanamo nine times personally, my firm's been 11 times -- I've seen what happened to my clients there in the early years. I've seen my client as being in solitary confinement for 14 months, 24/7; I've seen my client as trying to commit suicide right now because he thinks that's the only thing he has left that he has any control over. And the notion that any of these people would want to go there and be held as they are held -- even my clients who are not now in solitary confinement, I just think is a non-starter.

As Mr. Keene has said repeatedly, we're not talking about people, in most cases, who were found on the battlefields -- 5 percent of them were -- we're talking about people who were not found on the battlefields. And the question -- issue is, are they unlawful enemy- combatants or not? And we need a fair process to resolve that.

In terms of the second part of your question, what the military obligations will be -- if the military had been allowed to do what it's done in every other war -- as to the 5 to 8 percent found on the battlefields, and made screenings then of whether they were lawful or unlawful combatants, we probably wouldn't have this today.

If the administration hadn't decided back in 2001 that it would be a great idea to put people in Guantanamo -- because then the Eisentrager case from 1945 could be cited as precedent, where they wouldn't have any right to habeas even though habeas goes back to the Magna Carta and aliens got habeas in the New World before the Constitution -- then we wouldn't be here today. So that's my answer to your questions and I hope I am responsive.

REP. JOE SESTAK (D-PA): […] I was taken by your comment,"It's disruptive." Mr. Oleskey, please, but (that ?) first. You kept coming back, "Why set a second system up, because it's disruptive." I've seen a lot of disruptive things in my career, but to have that as the basis for why not, beginning with a system that's already established habeas corpus, which you may not agree goes to an individual, but I do think the suspension clause is important. Somebody, as Mr. Andrews said, higher will decide. But here we've taken a judiciary, in my opinion, and deprived it of the jurisdiction over law, what the Constitution gives it. Tell me why disruption? A second system that you -- (inaudible) -- have anything to do with the concern of starting out initially with what was already given by this nation, the rule of law by habeas corpus? Sir, could you answer that first, my question? No, Mr. Oleskey. Why not? Why not have habeas corpus for wherever U.S. government detains people? Why only in Gitmo?

MR. OLESKEY: Which one of us are you addressing, please?

REP. SESTAK: You. Yes, sir, you. You touched upon it, but you never went over.

MR. OLESKEY: I'm a lawyer, so I -- I generally argue and respond in terms of the law as I've understood it and as it may evolve. The law as it stood has been that habeas corpus can be extended beyond the United States in some instances. What the Supreme Court has been grappling with are some of the issues we've been talking about today, which is where is it appropriate to extend the writ. Thus far, it's been extended to the Philippines in limited cases, and in other dependencies, and now to Guantanamo. As a -- as a lawyer who advocates for personal liberty, I'd be willing to see the process more broadly extended.

As a lawyer advocating for clients in Guantanamo, I make the case for my clients within the bounds of where the law has been. The law has been that they are entitled to habeas since Rizul (ph) in 2004. I just want that process to go forward. I know that the court of appeals, under the Military Commissions Act and the DDA, doesn't have the power to release people even if they disagree with what these CSRTs did. They can apparently just send it back for another round of CSRTs, and we're right back in what Lieutenant Colonel Abraham was talking about. A habeas judge can release people he determines who've been held for five or six or seven years, which is what we're getting to, who shouldn't be kept any longer without trial or charge. So within those bounds, as an advocate, that's where I come out.

I take your larger point, but it goes beyond what I am here to advocate for today.

REP. SUSAN A. DAVIS (D-CA): […] I'm just trying to see -- we have individuals who are in this Never-Never Land, and we're trying to -- in some ways, is it true that we're trying to find a home for them of sorts?

MR. OLESKEY: We're trying to find a remedy for this unusual situation that's been created by the decision to put people deliberately in a place where they'd have no rights, which is what Mr. Philbin was tasked in doing, as I understand it, when he was in the Justice Department. And he makes no bones about that, and I understand and appreciate his candor. But now we have this situation. There's beena lot of talk about criminal process today. Habeas is not a criminal process. But the confusion is that usually when we deprive people of liberty for their lives, we do it for a criminal process which has all kinds of safeguards. And I think what's running around in this room is we're holding folks which the administrations says it can hold for the rest of their lives without the safeguards that most of us feel -- at least, folks I talk to -- ought to attend taking away your life and liberty forever.

So we're talking about a problem that's been created that needs a solution, and does this thing that Wolfowitz -- Secretary Wolfowitz built hastily in seven days withstand six years? And the burden from the argument from this side of the table is it doesn't.

REP. DAVIS: […] Would you all agree -- […] (inaudible) -- be ill-defined under the military?

MR. OLESKEY: What would be ill-defined? Habeas --


MR. OLESKEY: I don't think the military has any business in habeas, I don't think the military thinks it has any business in habeas. That's the business of the federal courts and the genius of habeas is it is flexible. So where Mr. Philbin sees lemons, I see a sweeter fruit.

REP. CAROL SHEA-PORTER (D-NH): […] Mr. Oleskey, I would like to ask you a couple of questions. You were talking about your client, 24/7 in a cell.


REP. SHEA-PORTER: Okay, that is against everything we understand about human rights. That's the kind of stuff that we read about in newspapers or in books when they talk about some other government, not ours.

Twenty-four, seven -- would you like to talk a moment about that? And then I have a couple of other questions to ask.

MR. OLESKEY: Yes. It's a man named Sarbel Ahkmar (sp) who's one of my six clients from Bosnia. I can't tell you why he's there because no one in the system will tell me. I've written letters; I've asked that he be released from solitary. The last time I was able to see him, last fall, he told me he was hearing voices. I've tried to get him medical attention. I tried to, in every way I can -- but without access to habeas, there's no way for anybody to pass upon why he's there at all, much less why he should be punished in this fashion.

But he is -- he, I am very concerned about because I think he is -- I'm losing him and I can't even talk to him about it because he's seemed to have lost the ability to leave his cell and talk to anyone.

REP. SHEA-PORTER: I don't think any American would approve of somebody being kept in 24/7 in darkness like that, especially without hearing with the story was. Now --

MR. OLESKEY: Actually it's worse than darkness, he has a light on 24 hours a day so he never knows when it's day and when it's night.

REP. SHEA-PORTER: These are the kinds of stories that my father told me about why our constitution was so wonderful because we were protected from this kind of activity.

I wanted to ask you a couple of questions. And I had one to ask Mr. Philbin and I hope that he will answer in writing to me.

Some of these people were not picked up on a battlefield?

MR. OLESKEY: Yes, in fact it appears from -- that it's not disputed that the majority was not picked up on a battlefield as it would be defined by anybody unless we define the whole world as a battlefield.

REP. SHEA-PORTER: As a battlefield, right. So they're not technically enemy combatants?

MR. OLESKEY: Not as I would view it.

REP. SHEA-PORTER: Okay, they can't see all the evidence. Some is classified.

MR. OLESKEY: They can't see most the evidence because most of what the panels are shown, in my experience, is classified, not unclassified. I'm sure Colonel Abraham, from what he said, would agree.

REP. SHEA-PORTER: Who determines what is classified and what is not?

MR. OLESKEY: People in the military, people in civilian intelligence.

REP. SHEA-PORTER: So we don't know who really determines that and we don't know what evidence is --

MR. OLESKEY: That's correct. And I can't tell you what evidence -- I can't even discuss classified evidence much less whether I've seen it all.

REP. SHEA-PORTER: How is a personal rep chosen?

MR. OLESKEY: As I understand it, the personal reps were not to be lawyers and so they were chosen by the command structure as non- lawyers, as Colonel Abraham said, relatively low-rank in the office of core. In my experience, they did not function as advocates at all.

REP. SHEA-PORTER: And one last question, how did they go from combatant to no longer an enemy combatant? What ever happened to innocent or guilty?

MR. OLESKEY: That's a very good question. I would note that in the first Gulf war, when this Article V process was used on the battlefield, the numbers of people who were screened out as non- military civilian, you go home was 70 percent, at Guantanamo, as you've heard this morning, it was 10 percent. That's because, in my view, the process was applied three years after the battlefield and it's a battlefield process. It's not a process designed to be used after the fact, especially long years after the fact.

REP. SHEA-PORTER: Thank you.

REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D-MD): […] And assuming that kind of information [i.e. probative pieces of evidence] was lacking, Mr. Oleskey, I guess it makes it -- I mean, they would almost have to let your client go. Is that right -- under habeas?

MR. OLESKEY: They'd have to let my client go, in my view -- my clients -- if they looked at all the evidence. As the Colonel's pointing out, they didn't see much of the evidence. And we filed with the military, as a result of doing our own review, a lengthy document -- 128 pages -- where we pointed out that these six men, who are said to be commonly linked in a conspiracy, had in one of their CSRTs -- somebody sent in after a CSRT, something in the system -- something they said was exculpatory. And that panel said, no. We've already closed the books. And nobody in the chain of command said, well, if these men were all supposed to be part of a common plot, and somebody in the military thinks that whatever this information is it could be exculpatory, it must relate to all of them potentially, not just to this one, but it wasn't shown to any of the other five panels.

And you talk about the expansion of this doctrine under the Military Commission Act of withdrawing habeas corpus. Mr. Al Marri was a student at Bradley University. Mr. Padilla stepped off a plane in Chicago. So this doctrine, if you label somebody an enemy combatant, you can take them anywhere in the world -- not just off a battlefield in Bosnia, but in the United States -- has been greatly expanded by this administration. I think that the muscle the chairman's bill puts back in this to circle around to where we were would help stop what many people regard as some of those excesses.

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