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Letters to the 107th Congress

August 14, 2002

The Honorable Carl Levin
Chairman, Committee on Armed Services
U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Mr. Chairman:

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


Note: The letter was also sent to:
The Honorable John Warner, Ranking Member, Senate Armed Services Committee

107th Congress Letters Home

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