President's Military Order of November 13, 2001, Detention, Treatment, and Trial of Certain Non-Citizens in the War Against Terrorism

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News Release: President Issues Military Order Detention, Treatment, and Trial of Certain Non-Citizens in the War Against Terrorism, November 13, 2001, and pdf version.

The President's Military Order of November 13, 2001, Detention, Treatment, and Trial of Certain Non-Citizens in the War Against Terrorism (66 F.R. 57833) was issued in response to the events of September 11, 2001, as well as the Bush administration's war on terrorism.

Note in the following sections of the November 13, 2001, President's Order, as well as the rest of the Order, that no reference is made either directly or indirectly to the Geneva Conventions.

Section 1(e):
To protect the United States and its citizens, and for the effective conduct of military operations and prevention of terrorist attacks, it is necessary for individuals subject to this order pursuant to section 2 hereof to be detained, and, when tried, to be tried for violations of the laws of war and other applicable laws by military tribunals.
Section 1(f):
Given the danger to the safety of the United States and the nature of international terrorism, and to the extent provided by and under this order, I find consistent with section 836 of title 10, United States Code, that it is not practicable to apply in military commissions under this order the principles of law and the rules of evidence generally recognized in the trial of criminal cases in the United States district courts.
Section 3: Detention Authority of the Secretary of Defense. Any individual subject to this order shall be --
(a) detained at an appropriate location designated by the Secretary of Defense outside or within the United States;
(b) treated humanely, without any adverse distinction based on race, color, religion, gender, birth, wealth, or any similar criteria;
(c) afforded adequate food, drinking water, shelter, clothing, and medical treatment;
(d) allowed the free exercise of religion consistent with the requirements of such detention; and
(e) detained in accordance with such other conditions as the Secretary of Defense may prescribe.
Section 7(b) With respect to any individual subject to this order --
(1) military tribunals shall have exclusive jurisdiction with respect to offenses by the individual; and
(2) the individual shall not be privileged to seek any remedy or maintain any proceeding, directly or indirectly, or to have any such remedy or proceeding sought on the individual's behalf, in (i) any court of the United States, or any State thereof, (ii) any court of any foreign nation, or (iii) any international tribunal.

Military Commission Orders

Subsequent to the Order, Military Commission Order No. 1, "Procedures for Trials by Military Commission of Certain Non-United States Citizens in the War Against Terrorism," and a Fact Sheet were issued March 21, 2002. Eight additional Military Commission Instructions were issued April 30, 2003.

The order for the Appointing Authority, DoD Directive 5105.70, "Appointing Authority For Military Commissions," was issued February 10, 2004:

"The Appointing Authority for Military Commissions is established in the Office of the Secretary of Defense under the authority, direction, and control of the Secretary of Defense." See Office of Military Commissions.
December 30, 2003: "Also, Defense Department General Counsel William Haynes II has issued Military Commission Instruction No. 9, which prescribes procedures and sets responsibilities for review of commission proceedings." [1]

Additional Documents

Response to the Order

  • Charles D. Siegel, 10-page Letter to Judiciary Committee, U.S. Senate, (Sen. Patrick Leahy, Chair; Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Member), Human Rights Committee of the American Branch of the International Law Association, December 3, 2001.
  • J. Gordon Forester, Jr., Report, The Bar Association of the District of Columbia, February 2002.

SourceWatch Resources

External links