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Letters to the 107th Congress

August 12, 2002

The Honorable Thomas A. Daschle
Majority Leader
U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Mr. Majority Leader:

The September 11 terrorist attacks not only shocked the nation but also raised enormously important and difficult military and legal issues. Among these is the detention of American citizens as "enemy combatants," without charge or access to counsel. In response to this development, I appointed a task force of lawyers expert in various aspects of military, constitutional and international law to assist national leaders like yourself who are grappling with the issue of what rights does a United States citizen detained by the government have when the citizen is alleged to be associated with an enemy group.

The enclosed paper represents the analysis and recommendations of the ABA Task Force on the Treatment of Enemy Combatants. We hope it will prove helpful to you and your colleagues in your efforts to strike the appropriate balance between the attempts to bring the perpetrators of these horrible attacks to justice and to prevent future acts of terrorism, and the need to protect our rights and liberties.

We look forward to working with you on these and other important legal issues.


Robert E. Hirshon
President, American Bar Association


cc: All members of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees

Note: The letter was also sent to:
The Honorable Trent Lott, Senate Minority Leader
The Honorable J. Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the House
The Honorable Richard A. Gephardt, House Minority Leader
The Honorable Patrick J. Leahy, Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee
The Honorable Orrin G. Hatch, Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee
The Honorable F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr., Chairman, House Judiciary Committee
The Honorable John Conyers, Jr., Ranking Member, House Judiciary Committee

107th Congress Letters Home

Governmental Affairs Office
740 Fifteenth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005
ph: 202-662-1760
fx: 202-662-1762

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