Admiral and Judge Advocate General Says Indefinite Military Detention Of U.S. Citizens Is A Win For Terrorists: “The Enemy Is Just Laughing Over This, Because They Will Have Gotten Another Victory”

The U.S. Hands the Terrorists a Big Win

Top counter-terrorism officials have said for years that indefinite detention increases terrorism.

As Huffington Post notes today, the indefinite detention bill passed by the Senate last week hands the terrorists a big win:

A measure that Congress will likely pass this week allowing indefinite detentions of Americans by the U.S. military will mark a significant loss in the war on terrorism, says a retired admiral who ran the Navy legal system.


To Ret. Adm. John Hutson, who was Judge Advocate General of the Navy from 1997 to 2000 and is dean emeritus of the University of New Hampshire School of Law, the idea that the United States is chipping away at one of its fundamental principles of civilian law enforcement is a win for terrorists.

“The enemy is just laughing over this, because they will have gotten another victory,” Hutson told The Huffington Post. “There’ll be one more victory. There won’t be any bloodshed or immediate bloodshed, there’s not a big explosion, except in a metaphorical sense, but it is a victory nonetheless for the enemy. And it’s a self-inflicted wound.”


Besides Hutson’s 28 years in the military justice system, he counted himself a conservative and Republican who “didn’t vote for a Democrat for dogcatcher” until he became worried about the direction of the country and backed Obama in 2008.

He thinks Obama should be very concerned about the detainee provisions, and explained why passage of them would be a victory for terrorists, who he argued cannot beat the United States on the battlefield. Instead, he said terrorists have to focus their attacks and violence on getting the United States to beat itself. And infringing on its own liberties is a step in that direction, he said.

“In this war, the enemy doesn’t have to win,” Hutson said. “They can cause us to do things we wouldn’t otherwise do, such as indefinite detentions, in the name of fighting a war,” he said, noting that the country has already subjected itself to invasive scrutiny that would not have been tolerated before Sept. 11, 2001.

In the case of the defense bill, the detention provisions would raise key questions about basic legal concepts that have long underpinned guarantees of freedom in America, including the habeas corpus right to contest being jailed and the Posse Comitatus Act passed after the Civil War to limit the military’s role in law enforcement.


“As it turns out, our enemies’ greatest weakness is that they are bereft of ideals,” he added. “If we can maintain our ideals, our sense of justice, in the face of this, we can win. What the enemy, what the terrorists want to do — because they know they can’t beat us militarily — [is] they can try to change us. They can cause us to become more like them, and for them, that’s victory.”

The reason why, he argues, is that if the United States cannot portray itself as the holder of loftier ideals, then it is much harder to convince the rest of the world to stay on its side — and it’s harder to fight wars because even allies are less cooperative.

“Who’s going to surrender to the United Sates if they think they’re going to be detained indefinitely without a trial? Is anybody going to give up?” he asked. “Who’s going to say, ‘You know, maybe the United States isn’t as bad as we think it is, and maybe it’s al Qaeda and the Taliban who are the bad guys, and I’m going to side with the good guys?'”


“It’s going to cost lives.” he said, “it’s going to cost a way of life.”

Instead of doing the things which could actually make us safer, virtually everything the Bush and Obama administrations have done actually increases the risk of terrorism in the long-run.

But that’s apparently dandy with our civilian leadership, because the so-called “war on terror” (which Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser calls “a mythical historical narrative”) was planned 20 years ago, and many in government consider terrorist strikes to be a “small price to pay for being a superpower”.

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  • Terry Wrist

    Of course its a win for the terrorists, they are the ones who wrote the legislation. One day the American people might wake up and stop voting for them.

    • Albert Krasnik

      You are asking Americans to wake up and stop voting.

      • C J

        I agree. Americans NEED to wake up and notice that between two “Wars” on Americans, the War on Drugs and the War against Terrorists, we have lost a large amount of our civil liberties and constitutionally promised freedoms. When Americans can be detained and searched because they are in a nice car in a bad neighborhood, clearly we move closer to a police state. Our founding father’s would be thinking, “Revolution.”

  • One day, voting might matter again…

    • Harry

      I am a 80 year old Korean war veteran and I can tell you your vote means everything. The key to makinf the proper decision is to vet each person running for office. Barach Obama was not veted by any news organization except Fox. The decision you make in the voting booth is more than likely the way the country goes.

  • Dennis Lamberti

    The U.S.S.A. has become a country similar to Germany prior to Hitler gaining full power, when that country started chipping away at the cornerstones of law, religion and human dignity. It’s just a matter of time before martial law is declared in the name of “national security” and the war on terrorism. Unfortunately, the American people have been brainwashed so much that all they can do is watch the events destroy their country and some will even welcome the change!

  • MikeyrInFL

    We are “ruled” by legislators and an administration that fears another domestic attack will occur and they will be blamed for not doing enough. As a result, we are losing our liberties and the protection of our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Our founding fathers were correct in cautioning us that those who are willing to give up their freedoms for security will lose both.

  • David James

    Or as Pogo once said “We have met the enemy, and he is us”.

  • Geoff Orchard

    The inhabitants of Yankeeland haven’t got a clue. After spending Gigabucks on military hardware that can impose its will on any country it chooses it leaves the back door wide open. The country is so dependent on the net for communication, energy supply, financials etc that it can be brought down by anyone virtually anywhere acting alone. Couple that with its six-guns glued to their holsters inviting feet trouble, with the TSA and other government agencies running roughshod all over the local population I am surprised there hasn’t been a revolution. Yet surprise, surprise. The instigators of the freedom contractions will be voted back into office next year simply because the sheeple can remember their names. You have to wonder where all the money that has been poured into education has gone.
    If it makes you feel any better we are not much better here in New Zealand. We just don’t have to wear a world’s sherrif badge.

    • C J

      All the money we Waste trying to enforce our will on other countries has cost Americans dearly. Not only in a huge monetary way which is destroying our infra-structure, but also in a loss of liberty, which is the alleged reason for doing all this in the first place. And the sleeping public blindly keeps voting the same bunch of career criminals (politicians) into office due to misguided “Party loyalty.” We need the Libertarian Party to actually win in a big way and return America to it’s “Founding Values.”

  • bestrader

    You want to hear about the most advanced computer in the world using the most advanced Artificial Intelligence system? Do you know what the Futures markets are? Like Gold, Oil, and all Currencies? Well guess what, they are all controlled by a computer program, they do not trade, rather they are 100% controlled in advance by a computer.Google “Gold Trading Academy” to learn more.

  • Jerome Reisman

    The constitution has been eroded since interpretation required guessing what the founders meant rather than interpreting in accordance with current social morality. It is truly incomprehensible that Supreme Court jurists interpret the constitution based upon advertising published promoting public support in 1776. [Federalist Papers] The use of these advertisements rather than the Preamble is disingenuous………

  • GWH

    Wasn’t Amendment No. 1274 to the NDAA (S.1867) voted down 41-59? The Amendment suspended habeas corpus and due process by virtue of declaring the US a combat zone. Senator Rand Paul called for a roll call vote which led to the Amendment’s defeat. In any case, we’re one executive order away from martial law.

    • Jonny79

      I believe that Habeas Corpus was suspended witht the Military Commisions Act of 2006. I know that it is gone because I remember wating a Presidential debate in 2008 and Obama said that if he became President that he would re-instate Habeas Corpus.


    I truly beleive, and, as a U.S. Veteran, . . I despise the thought, . . that we have some people in the highest levels of our current government and in varying branches and agencies who would like nothing more than to see America fold into the ashes of history and fade away as nothing more than a memory ! . . It’s high time We The People begin to determine who our enemies really are, who the terrorists really are, . . and treat them accordingly as the enemies that they are. . . We have people wandering all over this Nation who have not only pledged but have committed their lives to the total destruction of America ! . . . We truly do need to first rid ourselves of those who have openly declared WAR upon America and then continue about the process of locating those who have done the same but operate in the shadows and in secret to bring about our demise ! . . We should prosecute those who we can and deport every one of our enemies where at all possible ! . . We have to get serious about defending and protecting our patriotic Citizens and ridding ourselves of those who refuse to assimilate into our society as good and trustworthy citizens. . . . We can no longer afford, financially nor physically, to simply wait and see what happens ! . . . We must be pro-active in our determination to keep America a safe place to live and raise families ! . . . We must not allow our enemies to “FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGE” our nation nor the course which was set forth by our Founding Fathers ! . . . Just because someone is jealous of us as a Free Republic is not a good reason that we should alter our character and ethics in order to PLEASE THEM ! . . . America is a “Christian” Nation and we need to act like it is ! . . .

    • Start with the CFR (Council on Foreign Relations) – it’s (corporate) sponsors, and it’s members

  • El Cid

    Where are all the unemployed slaves? shouldn’t they be on the Washington Mall occupying and protesting as the so-called Arab revolutionaries in Egypt? Why should we involve ourselves in a revolution when no one cares? I for one will not sacrifice my suburbanite lifestyle if I will have no one wiht cojones to stand with me. It’s amazing how all the men in this country seem to have been castrated. where are the men? Why not revolution? Too messy? get in the way of your football game? or porn? whatthehellever.

  • christophe

    Terrorists are NOT the winner here because the bill wasnt aimed at terrorists. It was aimed at the American people. The whole house of cards is about to fall, and the “CONgress” people are putting laws in place to protect them and their Wall Street pals along with the big military contractors. Its been a slow march, with patriot acts and laws for the TSA, police drones and total surveillance. Thats why hording food will probably be outlawed soon, as animals aborting in greater numbers because of GMO feed ….all sorts of crap. People will have to start and stick together and watch each neighbours backs.

  • Mr. Super

    This admiral guy is smart enough to be an admiral of the US Navy, but too dumb to realize that the War on Terror is contrived? Tell me admiral, how does one win a War on Terror? What’s next a covert War on Rational Thinking, or has that been ongoing for the past few decades now?

    Could it be that the “War on Terror” was nothing more than an excuse to shred the Bill of Rights, destroy the Constitution, and take away American sovereignty? I mean slick Dick can make a few bucks with Halliburton, and the MIC can continue their oil-robbing, empire-building ways, but the real target is American liberties is it not? At least the middle class’s liberties. Tell me admiral, why was the Patriot Act written BEFORE 9/11 even occurred? And you did vote for a dog catcher. You voted for the mainstream media’s candidate silly!

    • FREEdom Fighter

      Dear Mr. Super,
      What is the MIC? El Cid, I am with you!!!

  • eve

    Maybe Americans aren’t really voting in the candidates at all….
    Maybe it’s all rigged?
    Maybe the MSM is in on the rigged elections?
    The wizard of OZ anyone?

    What if?
    What if is a great stance because pondering the possibilities allows you to examine new points of view.

    Why are those who are supposed to be representing us passing bills and laws like this?

    Bad grammar most certainly but an honest question nonetheless.

    Has the government been usurped by a group who is American only in name?

  • eve

    Then again, maybe not.

  • Jakball

    The Patriot Act was written a year before 9/11, and Al Qaeda did not exist before 9/11/2001. The ballots are not even counted by the Government- the ballots are turned over to a company owned by President Bush. What now?