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  • p0713p p0713p Jan 4, 2005 1:40 PM Flag

    LIFE TIME Detentions 'Bad Idea'

    Senator Says Lifetime Terror Detentions 'Bad Idea'

    A reported U.S. plan to keep some suspected terrorists imprisoned for a lifetime even if the government lacks evidence to charge them in courts was swiftly condemned on Sunday as a "bad idea" by a leading Republican senator.

    The Pentagon and the CIA have asked the White House to decide on a more permanent approach for those it was unwilling to set free or turn over to U.S. or foreign courts, the Washington Post said in a report that cited intelligence, defense and diplomatic officials.

    Some detentions could potentially last a lifetime, the newspaper said.

    Influential senators denounced the idea as probably unconstitutional.

    "It's a bad idea. So we ought to get over it and we ought to have a very careful, constitutional look at this," Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said on "Fox News Sunday."

    Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, senior Democrat on the Armed Services Committee, cited earlier U.S. Supreme Court decisions. "There must be some modicum, some semblance of due process ... if you're going to detain people, whether it's for life or whether it's for years," Levin said, also on Fox.

    The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment..

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