Military lawyer defends terrorism detentions in Seattle talk - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Military lawyer defends terrorism detentions in Seattle talk

Associated Press - March 1, 2008 12:45 PM ET

SEATTLE (AP) - A former military lawyer says open-ended detention of terrorism suspects is a wartime necessity.

Speaking at a legal forum at Seattle University on Friday, Army Maj. Gen. John Altenburg said that international law allow countries to hold these suspects until the war is over. That keeps them from going back to the battlefield.

But Altenburg, who retired in 2006, also faults the Bush administration for not making a strong legal case to the American public.

Some legal experts at Friday's forum argued that terrorism suspects should be tried in civilian courts, where they would be afforded due-process rights.

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