President Obama Holding Detainees without Trial
Inside Gitmo is on my book list; I listened to the author interviewed on radio a week or two ago.
Oh, the moral and legal quandary of what to do with the detainees; not like it is any different from the dilemma the previous Administration faced. Today's WaPo:
Approximately 60 detainees who have been cleared for release by the Bush administration remain at the camp. An additional 21 detainees are facing charges before military commissions and are almost certain to face trial in federal court, courts-martial or some new version of the current system of military commissions.
Nearly 60 others could be prosecuted, the Pentagon has said, although many legal experts say that is unrealistic because of a lack of evidence and other problems.
That leaves the fate of roughly 100 prisoners unclear. A Pentagon spokesman said the department would not discuss the cases of individual detainees.
Bush administration officials have insisted that among the detainees are any number of al-Qaeda leaders, their financiers and facilitators, and high-level members of the Taliban.
"If you release the hard-core al-Qaeda terrorists that are held at Guantanamo, I think they go back into the business of trying to kill more Americans and mount further mass-casualty attacks," former vice president Richard B. Cheney said in a recent interview with Politico. "If you turn them loose and they go kill more Americans, who's responsible for that?"
Obama administration officials acknowledge that closing the prison is not risk-free and that some detainees may return to terrorism. But the president has concluded that Guantanamo has sapped America's moral stature abroad and mired the country in endless litigation, forestalling justice for the alleged terrorists. Of the 779 people taken to Guantanamo, only three have been convicted, and two of those have since been released.
"That can of worms," as Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates recently described the Guantanamo issue, can no longer be kicked "down the road."
Great comment by MataHarley:
There most certainly was a carefully planned system in place to interrogate and charge enemy combatants that were held on foreign soil (i.e. detain and try thru military tribunals at Gitmo). They were never to be held without charges, but if found to be a risk, held until combat’s end as allowable via the Geneva Convention. These are not soldiers of state. They are stateless gangs of Islamic thugs.
That system was steadily thwarted, eroded, delayed and finally abrogated by legal challenge after legal challenge by ACLU lawyers. This is *not* holding them without charges. Any delays in their justice were caused by these legal actions.
A prime example of this entire process is exemplified by Judge Pohl, who refused to delay the hearing and process at Obama’s “request” in the interest of justice and due process rights that include a speedy trial.
Today, because of Obama, they are genuinely being held without charges. Unlike Bush, who had his every attempt for trials thwarted, Obama is REALLY holding them without charges while he “ponders” on what to do.
So I’d say if you have a beef with deliberate delays of justice, and holding people without charges (or even a process in which to charge them), you start pointing your finger at the ACLU and Obama. Because they are the only ones throwing the monkey wrench into the system that was set up for enemy combatants.
He did a photo op to the adoring world. And they are so stupid that they can’t see what he is doing is exactly what they have been falsely accusing Bush of doing for years.