Advancing a Free Society

The Significance of Guest Houses and Training II

Monday, June 13, 2011

A number of readers have written in to argue that my attempt to complicate the D.C. Circuit’s emerging doctrine on guesthouse stays and training camps is itself too simple.

These readers point out from a variety of perspectives that I focused on only one element of the doctrinal puzzle: whether the D.C. Circuit should really be treating guesthouse stays as though they were as probative of Al Qaeda membership as training camps. There’s another question here, though: variability within the relevant categories. That is, are all guesthouse stays sufficiently alike and all training sufficiently alike to allow the fact of either to drive a legal conclusion. Different readers have urged different conclusions based on this observation. Some have argued that not all training should create a presumption of a detainee’s having joined the enemy group. Others have suggested that the meaning of a guesthouse stay can be very fact-specific.

Continue reading Benjamin Wittes at Lawfare