U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement after U.S. District Court Judge John Bates this morning cleared the way for three detainees held at United States military prison at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan to challenge their confinement in federal court. The opinion bestowed upon the detainees the constitutional right of habeas corpus.
"This ruling is stunning in the precedent it sets for a nation at war. Never in our nation's history has a court bestowed habeas rights on enemy combatants being held by our military in a foreign country where battles are still raging. Never.
"These detainees have been given the due process required under the Geneva Conventions and international law and have been found to be combatants in the global War on Terror. The judge's rationale that these individuals were not captured in Afghanistan so they are not part of the battle is both dangerous and naive. The judge obviously does not appreciate the global nature of this conflict; however, the enemy clearly does. Using this logic in World War II would not have allowed us to capture Nazi operatives anywhere but in Germany.
"This decision allows federal judges to micromanage foreign battles and the detention of the fighters our troops have captured in battle. I cannot think of a more dangerous concept than a federal judge thousands of miles away in the U.S. being able to micromanage military decisions about fighting enemy forces in foreign lands.
"We have thousands of brave young men and women who continue to volunteer their time, service, and lives in defense of our nation's interests. We appreciate their service but I fear this decision will make the already difficult task they face even harder. As our troops continue to fight a vicious enemy in distant lands, the judge now sets in motion a process that will make the job of our forces even more difficult than it already is.
"I strongly encourage the Obama Administration to come out firmly against this decision."