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Obama Puts Gitmo Trials on Hold

Posted on Jan 20, 2009
U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Jon Soucy

A soldier stands guard over a maximum-security cellblock at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.

President Obama has asked for a stay in all military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay while his administration figures out how to handle the legal cases of the detainees still held in the island prison. The move was welcomed by Human Rights Watch and the ACLU as a positive first step.

Washington Post:

Such a request may not be automatically granted by military judges, and not all defense attorneys may agree to such a suspension. But the move is a first step toward closing a detention facility and system of military trials that became a worldwide symbol of the Bush administration’s war on terrorism and its unyielding attitude toward foreign and domestic critics.

The legal maneuver appears designed to provide the Obama administration time to refashion the prosecution system and potentially treat detainees as criminal defendants in federal court or to have them face war-crimes charges in military courts-martial. It is also possible that the administration could re-form and relocate the military commissions before resuming trials.

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By Stephen Smoliar, January 21, 2009 at 10:35 am Link to this comment

EU Justice Commissioner Jacques Barrot was probably right in calling this a symbolic act.  Basically, it is a “time out” pending Executive Review, which is when we shall see if substance measures up to symbol.  Still, it was a good way to begin a new Administration:

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By omniadeo, January 21, 2009 at 9:07 am Link to this comment

Wait a minute, “Such a request may not be automatically granted by military judges…”

Here is the out: Obama does the right thing, but is frustrated by those nasty military Judges. Never mind they are in Obama’s employ and under his command, so he can suspend the whole process by edict.

Or maybe those tricky Defense attorneys will not “agree to such a suspension…”  Imagine that, Obama trying and those bad boys just want to fry their own defendants in a kangaroo court.

Anyway, somehow a deal will be worked out that makes Obama do the right thing, but still leaves these phony confessions on the record and these men in another prison without any real trial.

Investigate 911.

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By vico, January 21, 2009 at 8:33 am Link to this comment

Those who did torture should be tried under the USCMJ if they are on active duty; those civilians who did torture should be turned over the justice dept.
Form a panel of retired judges from both parties, along with constitutional scholars, We did this at Nuremburg and we did this to the Japanese after WWII.
IF we do nothing that will be a great blot which will grow like a cancer.

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By hippy pam, January 21, 2009 at 7:14 am Link to this comment

President Obama has-according to info-put many of “ole bullshits” HOLD OVERS on hold for now….Until some one with brains gets to take a good look at them….I am cautiously optimistic ....maybe things will get better…..

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By blog dog, January 21, 2009 at 1:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Count on nothing resembling genuine human rights, so long as the Pentagon has a say - the US/UK/Israeli axis has been making war on the disenfranchised of the Middle East for 60 years - why would they stop now? - we know what happened to the last US President who tried to stop it.

The dehumanization of the Global War Of Terror is the demarkation of the Empire at the precipice of its fall - already on the record is the artistic documentation to which scholars millennia from how will reference -

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