Detention and Due Process

"It is during our most challenging and uncertain moments that our Nation's commitment to due process is most severely tested; and it is in those times that we must preserve our commitment at home to the principles for which we fight abroad."

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor

In the weeks following the attacks of September 11, the government rounded up and jailed more than a thousand men inside the United States, refused to release their names, frequently failed to file charges for days or weeks and prevented their access to lawyers or the courts.  Virtually none of them had anything to do with terrorism.

In the months and years following the attacks, the Bush administration seized individuals all over the world, including inside the United States, mistreated them, held them without charge or access to courts, transferred some to CIA black sites for torture and put hundreds in prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.  

Since September 2001, the Center has worked to end these practices; to stop secret arrests, and the misuse of immigration and domestic law authorities; to ensure that individuals suspected of terrorist activities are provided due process and a fair trial; and to ensure that enemy fighters seized overseas are treated humanely and detained in accordance with the laws of war.