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The Honorable Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator
Statement of Senator Dianne Feinstein
Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing:
As I have stated previously, I believe that closing Guantanamo is important. But, in doing so, we must also establish safeguards to ensure that we aren't releasing those who will simply return to the battlefield.
In addition, the Obama Administration inherited detainees who have been subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques - this inevitably will inhibit the government's ability to prosecute - even when we know that the detainee has committed crimes against the United States.
We must acknowledge that some of the people we have detained could pose a grave threat to the United States.
In these limited cases, "enemy combatants" should be detained for a prolonged period of time so long as they are provided due process and given the opportunity to have their status reviewed by a court.
It is important to strike a balance between preserving the rule of law and releasing individuals who we know are determined to harm our nation.
1. There has been a determination that the individual presents a danger to the community.
2. There has been a showing of "some other special circumstance" to justify their indefinite detention.
3. There is proof of "dangerousness" by clear and convincing evidence and the presence of judicial safeguards.
4. The detention applies to a narrow subset of individuals, such as is the case of individuals from Guantanamo.
5. Congressional intent to grant the Executive branch the power to hold someone indefinitely is unambiguous.
6. The individual cannot be considered to have "entered into" or "landed in" the United States and treated legislatively as other aliens who attempted to enter the United States illegally, or as civilian or military belligerents under the Geneva Conventions and the Laws of War.
Let me be clear. I am not in favor of indefinite detention without judicial review. However, preventive and prolonged detention - under narrow and specific circumstances - and with appropriate court oversight is necessary.