Obama To Close Gitmo, Hold Different Tribunals

Obama To Close Gitmo, Hold Different Tribunals


One of the biggest symbols of post 9/11 American hubris is set to vanish.


WASHINGTON – President-elect Obama’s advisers are quietly crafting a proposal to ship dozens, if not hundreds, of imprisoned terrorism suspects to the United States to face criminal trials, a plan that would make good on his promise to close the Guantanamo Bay prison but could require creation of a controversial new system of justice. […]

Under plans being put together in Obama’s camp, some detainees would be released and many others would be prosecuted in U.S. criminal courts.

A third group of detainees — the ones whose cases are most entangled in highly classified information — might have to go before a new court designed especially to handle sensitive national security cases, according to advisers and Democrats involved in the talks. Advisers participating directly in the planning spoke on condition of anonymity because the plans aren’t final.

The plan being developed by Obama’s team has been championed by legal scholars from both political parties. But it is almost certain to face opposition from Republicans who oppose bringing terrorism suspects to the U.S. and from Democrats who oppose creating a new court system with fewer rights for detainees.

Supported by legal scholars on both sides of the aisle but opposed by Republican politicians? Sounds good to me.

More as it develops…

  • Publius

    It looks as if the Obama team is seeking a way to take a bow for closing Gitmo while shifting to another, new, yet-to-be-fashioned forum the problem of how to detain guys we simply cannot let go and cannot try in a federal court (without spilling countless intelligence sources and methods).

    These guys were not captured by cops who gathered evidence to convist them. They were captured by the smart use of intelligence assets with the goal of shutting them down to protect the US from more attacks.

    There was not in 2002 any chance that we could have succeeded in doing this by sending the FBI out with warrants. Anyone who suggested that due process came before the nation’safety in 2002 would have been derided rightly as a fool. Now we have the luxury to worry about due process — but only up to a point that will always fall short of that found in a federal court. No sane US government is going to release Khalid Sheik Mohammed for lack of admissable evidence. Tribe, et al. are going to find thatif we did not have a Gitmo, we’d need to create one.

    And that’s exactly what they appear to be doing.