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Merrick Garland on Homeland Security

 

 


Investigated domestic terrorism: Unabomber and OK City

Garland supervised the domestic terrorism investigations into the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, in his capacity as principal associate deputy attorney general.
Source: CBS News, "Who is Merrick Garland?", by Reena Flores , Mar 16, 2016

Let Abu Ghraib torture victims sue their torturers

A group of former detainees at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq will not be able to sue military contractors who they say participated in torture and other illegal acts of abuse in 2003-4. The suit raised the issue of whether private contractors hired by the military to perform services in a war zone may be held accountable. A federal appeals court dismissed the case, ruling 2-1 that claims against the contractors were precluded under a doctrine called "battlefield preemption."

In a dissent, Appeals Court Judge Merrick Garland said he would allow the Iraqi detainees' lawsuit to move forward against both military contractors. "No act of Congress and no judicial precedent bars the plaintiffs from suing the private contractors--who were neither soldiers nor civilian government employees," Garland wrote. "Employees of private contractors accompanying the Armed Forces in the field are NOT within the military's chain of command, and such contractors ARE subject to civil liability."

Source: Christian Science Monitor: 2016 SCOTUS confirmation hearings , Jun 27, 2011

Release non-enemy combatants from Guantanamo prison

In the first civilian judicial review of the government's evidence for holding any of the Guantanamo Bay detainees, a federal appeals court has overturned a Pentagon tribunal's decision in the case of one of 17 Guantanamo detainees who are ethnic Uighurs, a Muslim minority from western China.

The imprisonment of the 17 Uighurs has drawn wide attention because of their claim that although they were in Afghanistan when the US invaded in 2001, they were never enemies of this country and were mistakenly swept into Guantanamo.

The one-paragraph notice from the appeals court said a three-judge panel [including Merrick Garland] found in favor of Huzaifa Parhat, a former fruit peddler who made his way from western China to a Uighur camp in Afghanistan. "The court directed the government to release or to transfer Parhat, or to expeditiously hold a new tribunal," the notice said. It said the court had found "invalid" the military's decision that he was an enemy combatant.

Source: N.Y. Times, "Guantanamo Detainee", by William Glaberson , Jun 24, 2008

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Page last updated: Jul 13, 2021