Bush Issues Order Permitting Military Tribunals

2001

President George W. Bush signs a military order that authorizes the government to detain noncitizens suspected of terrorism and to try them before military tribunals. The order states that as a result of the Sept. 11 attacks, an “extraordinary emergency exists for national defense purposes,” and that the detentions and tribunals are needed to “protect the United States and its citizens, and for the effective conduct of military operations and prevention of terrorist attacks.” Civil liberties groups criticize the order, fearing that the accused may be held indefinitely without a trial and that any trials that occur could be held in secret without the usual rules about the kind of evidence that can be introduced.