Obama abandons 'enemy combatant'

March 13, 2009 12:59:38 PM PDT
The Obama administration is abandoning one of President George W. Bush's key phrases in the war on terrorism: enemy combatant In court filings Friday, the Justice Department said it will no longer use the term to justify holding prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

Obama still asserts the military's authority to hold prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. But he says that authority comes from Congress and the international laws of war, not from the president's own wartime power.

Bush had argued that the president as commander in chief could unilaterally hold prisoners without charge.

The Justice Department says prisoners can only be detained if their support for al-Qaida or the Taliban was "substantial."

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