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lifetime imprisonment for people who are never put on trial?

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&u=nm/security_usa_dc Senator Says Lifetime Terror Detentions Bad Idea WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A reported U.S.
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 2, 2005
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      http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&u=nm/security_usa_dc

      Senator Says Lifetime Terror Detentions 'Bad Idea'

      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A reported U.S. plan to keep
      some suspected terrorists imprisoned for a lifetime
      even if the government lacks evidence to charge them
      in courts was swiftly condemned on Sunday as a "bad
      idea" by a leading Republican senator.

      The Pentagon (news - web sites) and the CIA (news -
      web sites) have asked the White House to decide on a
      more permanent approach for those it was unwilling to
      set free or turn over to U.S. or foreign courts, the
      Washington Post said in a report that cited
      intelligence, defense and diplomatic officials.

      Some detentions could potentially last a lifetime, the
      newspaper said.

      Influential senators denounced the idea as probably
      unconstitutional.

      "It's a bad idea. So we ought to get over it and we
      ought to have a very careful, constitutional look at
      this," Republican Sen. Richard Lugar (news, bio,
      voting record) of Indiana, chairman of the Senate
      Foreign Relations Committee said on "Fox News Sunday."

      Sen. Carl Levin (news, bio, voting record) of
      Michigan, senior Democrat on the Armed Services
      Committee, cited earlier U.S. Supreme Court (news -
      web sites) decisions. "There must be some modicum,
      some semblance of due process ... if you're going to
      detain people, whether it's for life or whether it's
      for years," Levin said, also on Fox.

      The White House did not immediately respond to a
      request for comment. The State Department declined
      comment and a Pentagon spokeswoman, Lt. Col. Ellen
      Krenke of the Air Force, had no information on the
      reported plan.

      As part of a solution, the Defense Department, which
      holds 500 prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, plans to ask
      the U.S. Congress for $25 million to build a 200-bed
      prison to hold detainees who are unlikely to ever go
      through a military tribunal for lack of evidence,
      defense officials told the Washington Post.

      The new prison, dubbed Camp 6, would allow inmates
      more comfort and freedom than they have now, and would
      be designed for prisoners the government believes have
      no more intelligence to share, the newspaper said.

      "It would be modeled on a U.S. prison and would allow
      socializing among inmates," the paper said.

      "Since global war on terror is a long-term effort, it
      makes sense for us to be looking at solutions for
      long-term problems," Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon
      spokesman, was quoted as saying. "This has been
      evolutionary, but we are at a point in time where we
      have to say, 'How do you deal with them in the long
      term?"'

      The Post said the outcome of a review under way would
      also affect those expected to be captured in the
      course of future counterterrorism operations.

      One proposal would transfer large numbers of Afghan,
      Saudi and Yemeni detainees from the U.S. military's
      Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention center into new
      U.S.-built prisons in their home countries, it said.

      The prisons would be operated by those countries, but
      the State Department, where this idea originated,
      would ask them to abide by recognized human rights
      standards and would monitor compliance, a senior
      administration official was quoted as saying.
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