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 and the CIA 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 of Indiana, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Lugar is to be commended, though the idea that opposing lifetime detention in cases where there’s not enough evidence for a trial needs to be commended (as opposed to assumed) is itself disturbing. Digby’s got the right, and righteous, take on this and related problems.