May 21 2010
Meghan Hughes (202) 224-5972 or Kevin Bishop (864) 250-1417
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia decision refusing to give prisoners at an American military base in Afghanistan the same legal right to challenge their imprisonment as detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The three-judge panel ruled that U.S. courts do not have jurisdiction over the legal petitions by the prisoners at the Bagram base and ordered their cases be dismissed.
"This is a big win. I am very pleased with and relieved by this decision from the court of appeals. It was a well-reasoned, strongly supportive statement of our men and women serving overseas fighting the War on Terror.
"I also truly appreciate the Obama Administration for standing firm and opposing the lower court ruling.
"Allowing a non-citizen enemy combatant detained in a combat zone access to American courts would have been a change of historic proportions. It also would have dealt a severe blow to our war effort. There is a reason we have never allowed enemy prisoners detained overseas in an active war zone to sue in federal court for their release. It simply makes no sense and would be the ultimate act of turning the war into a crime. Our men and women in uniform are fighting a war, not a crime, and the court of appeals today reaffirmed that distinction."