What Kind of Custody Is It When You Secretly Hold an American at a Military Base?

Here’s a fairly minor point about the Gregory Saathoff report on Manssor Arbabsiar, the Scary Iran Plotter.

For the 12 day period when he was being secretly interrogated without a lawyer, he was being held at a military base.

Although at times Mr. Arbabsiar smoked inside the room, he often was escorted outside and on at least one occasion took a walk with agents around the military base.

Let me be clear: Arbabsiar’s arrest was approved by a US Magistrate. He was clearly arrested under civilian law.

And I’m not surprised the government held the cousin of a Quds Force member on a military base while they prepared to make an international incident out of his case. I’m sure Arbabsiar was nowhere near the first American citizen interrogated while in civilian custody at a military base.

But it’s coupled with the other part of this where it begins to get unsavory: the part where Arbabsiar had no lawyer and his legal team is now contesting whether he legally waived his right to a lawyer and presentment (and as I’ll explain if I ever get around to writing that post, I think their claim may have more merit than I originally did). And the part where the government didn’t check in with the Magistrate or have Arbabsiar medically examined until a week after he had been arrested.

So if the defense arguments about coerced waivers hold up (remember, we’re still seeing just part of what they’re complaining about), while a busy Magistrate knew he was in custody, Arbabsiar was otherwise in a black hole on a military base (though likely a quite pleasant one, with his own apartment) for a week to 12 days.

During the debate about the NDAA, people insisted we would never see a hybrid kind of detention where US citizens get indefinitely held, but in civilian custody. That’s not what happened to Arbabsiar; again, his detention had been approved by a Magistrate. But we are clearly inching closer to that kind of hybrid.

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emptywheel @mattkbh I would call her Loretta, but that seems disrespectful. Can those talking football just use "Beast" to distinguish?
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emptywheel Dear @ChuckGrassley: Another question of expansive Exec Privilege you might look into are the 9000 pages withheld fr SSCI Torture Report.
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emptywheel If Democrats were smarter they'd get Lynch to lay out all the other areas of prosecutors discretion GOP loves.
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emptywheel Will say this for Lynch: She's got the "ongoing investigation" answer down.
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emptywheel (Shorter FOIA discussion) Cornyn: Your USA office sucked at FOIA. How do you feel abt transparency? Lynch: Exemption 7E
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bmaz @espinsegall @ThePlumLineGS @sam_baker I'd like to continue this circular discussion, but I am off to a Super Bowl event. Much more fun!
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bmaz @espinsegall @ThePlumLineGS @sam_baker hahaha that cracks me up.
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emptywheel Me, if I were AG nominee: "Dudes, if you've got such problem w/OLC nominating broad exec action, you shoulda done something abt Torture Yoo"
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emptywheel Somewhere behind L Lynch's unflappable exterior, she's giggling wildly at how frustrated Cruz is getting over her filibuster.
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bmaz @espinsegall @ThePlumLineGS @sam_baker "Put into evidence"? In what trial was that?
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bmaz @espinsegall @ThePlumLineGS @sam_baker You mean like all this other "intent evidence" being ginned up after the fact? We'll see.
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emptywheel @caidid "A list of all the best Garcia Marquez first sentences except his bestest first sentence."
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