For Immediate Release
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Natalia Kennedy, 212 998–6736
National Law and Security Expert Provides Testimony on Detainees
New York, NY Professor Stephen J. Schulhofer of NYU School of Law and co-author of the new report released by the Brennan Center for Justice, The Secrecy Problem in Terrorism Trials, provided testimony in todays Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on detainees.
Professor Schulfhofer discussed how military commissions are not necessary to protect intelligence secrets. He emphasized that the Administration should adhere to previously established institutions and procedures in order to minimize confusion which has shown disastrous results in Guantanamo Bay. By following established guidelines, the government can ensure that detention centers and review measures provide maximum feasible transparency and accountability.
During his testimony, Professor Schulhofer detailed how ordinary civilian courts and courts-martial have extensive experience handling cases that involve top-secret documents successfully and consistently without military commissions. As detailed in the Brennan Center report, the Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA) have permitted terrorism cases, espionage, and other cases involving confidential material to go forward smoothly while preserving the essentials of a fair and accurate trial without compromising sensitive information.
Professor Schulhofer urged Congress to:
- Establish a credible method to handle old cases quickly, focusing first on detainees allegedly captured on the battlefields of Afganistan
- Establish an efficient and sustainable system for dealing with combatants who may be captured from this point forward
- Establish a procedure for prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay now who were not captured in combat
- Establish a process to deal with the small number of detainees, present and future, who may be charged with criminal offenses.