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Expanded Definition of "Unlawful Combatant"

 
 
oralloy
 
Reply Thu 28 Sep, 2006 04:41 am
The latest revision of the military tribunals bill has an expanded definition of "unlawful combatant":

Quote:
"(1) UNLAWFUL ENEMY COMBATANT.--(A) The term 'unlawful enemy combatant' means-- "(i) a person who has engaged in hostilities or who has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States or its co-belligerents who is not a lawful enemy combatant (including a person who is part of the Taliban, al Qaeda, or associated forces); or
"(ii) a person who, before, on, or after the date of the enactment of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, has been determined to be an unlawful enemy combatant by a Combatant Status Review Tribunal or another competent tribunal established under the authority of the President or the Secretary of Defense.

http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=109_cong_bills&docid=f:h6166ih.txt.pdf


Note: "or who has purposefully and materially supported hostilities"

Seems to me that since it would be hard for someone who is not even involved in combat to meet the qualifications of a lawful combatant, this would mean any foreigner who gives support to any action against the US would automatically be classified as an unlawful combatant.

Am I seeing that right?
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BR
 
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Reply Tue 3 Oct, 2006 04:19 pm
Re: Expanded Definition of "Unlawful Combatant"
The excerpt that you quote does not even seem to require that the person come from or be in any foreign country, necessarily. It would appear, from this quote alone at least, that anyone can be designated this way. I am hoping someone with legal expertise can clarify this further.
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oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Oct, 2006 02:45 am
Re: Expanded Definition of "Unlawful Combatant"
BR wrote:
The excerpt that you quote does not even seem to require that the person come from or be in any foreign country, necessarily. It would appear, from this quote alone at least, that anyone can be designated this way. I am hoping someone with legal expertise can clarify this further.


There is other language in the text that limits the scope of the tribunals to non-citizens.

I've heard people complain that the law would allow citizens to be detained as enemy combatants, as a separate issue from the tribunals, but the government already had that capability, so I don't think there is anything special there.



Here is the final text of the law, as passed by both the House and the Senate:

http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=109_cong_bills&docid=f:s3930enr.txt.pdf

The link shows up as an error 1 out of 10 times, so if you get an error instead of the law, a second attempt will probably be successful.
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