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D.C. Circuit Upholds District Court's decision in Khan v. Obama

Raffaela Wakeman
Tuesday, September 6, 2011, 10:43 AM
The D.C. Circuit has affirmed district court Judge John Bates's denial of Shawali Khan's petition for a writ of habeas corpus.

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The D.C. Circuit has affirmed district court Judge John Bates's denial of Shawali Khan's petition for a writ of habeas corpus. Judge Merrick Garland wrote the court's unanimous opinion, the opening paragraph of which reads:

Shawali Khan, a detainee at the United States naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, appeals the denial of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The district court found that Khan was “part of” Hezb-i Islami Gulbuddin (HIG), an associated force of al Qaeda and the Taliban engaged in hostilities against the United States and its coalition partners. Khan’s primary contention on appeal is that the district court erred in concluding that intelligence reports offered by the government to prove his membership in an HIG cell were reliable. Finding no error in the district court’s careful consideration of the evidence, we affirm its denial of Khan’s petition.

Wells's oral argument preview is available here, while you can view Ben's unusually brief argument recap here (the judges sealed the courtroom just before beginning oral arguments) and access the briefs here. Commentary to come as soon as we have read the opinion.

Raffaela Wakeman is a Senior Director at In-Q-Tel. She started her career at the Brookings Institution, where she spent five years conducting research on national security, election reform, and Congress. During this time she was also the Associate Editor of Lawfare. From there, Raffaela practiced law at the U.S. Department of Defense for four years, advising her clients on privacy and surveillance law, cybersecurity, and foreign liaison relationships. She departed DoD in 2019 to join the Majority Staff of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, where she oversaw the Intelligence Community’s science and technology portfolios, cybersecurity, and surveillance activities. She left HPSCI in May 2021 to join IQT. Raffaela received her BS and MS in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2009 and her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 2015, where she was recognized for her commitment to public service with the Joyce Chiang Memorial Award. While at the Department of Defense, she was the inaugural recipient of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s General Counsel Award for exhibiting the highest standards of leadership, professional conduct, and integrity.

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