Jane Mayer Details Obama's 'Hard Cases' Journalist Jane Mayer expects that an upcoming Supreme Court case will force the Obama administration to clarify its policy towards fighting terrorism — and define its stance on preventative detention of suspected terrorists.
NPR logo

Jane Mayer Details Obama's 'Hard Cases'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/100809161/100812343" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Jane Mayer Details Obama's 'Hard Cases'

Jane Mayer Details Obama's 'Hard Cases'

Jane Mayer Details Obama's 'Hard Cases'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/100809161/100812343" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Jane Mayer covers politics for The New Yorker. The New Yorker hide caption

toggle caption
The New Yorker

Journalist Jane Mayer expects that an upcoming Supreme Court case will force the Obama administration to clarify its policy towards fighting terrorism — and to define its stance on preventative detention of suspected terrorists.

In her article, "The Hard Cases", which appears in the Feb. 23 issue of The New Yorker, Mayer details the case of Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, an alleged Al Qaeda sleeper agent who has been held for more than five years in an isolation brig, despite the fact that he never stood trial or was convicted of a crime.

Though Marri was seized and detained under the Bush administration, it is the Obama administration that must reply to his legal challenge. And, says Mayer, the new administration's legal response to Marri will be a defining moment, both for the president and for the hundreds of other "unlawful enemy combatants" currently being held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Mayer has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since March 1995. She is the author of The Dark Side.