Congress to Hold Hearings on Military Commissions, Detention

by Deborah Pearlstein

Next week looks to be a busy one on Capitol Hill. As the Obama Administration Task Force on Detention nears its initial July 21 reporting deadline, both the House Judiciary and Senate Armed Services Committees will be holding hearings on a closely related topic: legal issues surrounding the use of military commissions to try offenses against the law of war. The SASC witness list is star-studded, to include the current Defense Department General Counsel, TJAG of the Navy, and head of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. The House hearing, directed by the Chairman but held under the auspices of the subcommittee on the Constitution, hasn’t yet posted its witness list. The Senate goes Tuesday; the House goes Wednesday. If Michael Jackson coverage permits, should be an interesting few sessions.

3 Responses

  1. Thanks Deborah–does anyone know if the hearings will be streamed online?


  2. Thanks for the notice. Yes it would be great if they were streamed. I can’t wait to see the Task Force findings.

  3. Just to clarify – the Task Force Findings won’t be presented at these hearings. My sense is this is principally to aid members’ understanding of what, at a minimum, needs to be in legislation to revise the Military Commissions Act if commissions are going forward.  That said, given the committees and the witnesses, it seems unlikely they’ll avoid addressing broader detention issues entirely.  As for streaming video, I’m not sure. I’d check the websites I linked to above on the day-of, as well as CSPAN of course.

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