Obama Punts on Guantanamo
Posted on Mar 7, 2011
Military trials will resume at America’s notorious island gulag. The president failed during the last two years to shut down the detention facility, which he says helps America’s enemies recruit, and move trials to the civilian justice system.
Those held indefinitely without charge can look forward to new rules that require their cases to be reviewed at least once every four years.
ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero condemned the announcement: “While appearing to be a step in the right direction, providing more process to Guantánamo detainees is just window dressing for the reality that today’s executive order institutionalizes indefinite detention, which is unlawful, unwise and un-American. The detention of Guantánamo detainees for nine years without charge or trial is a stain on America’s reputation that should be ended immediately, not given a stamp of approval. Moreover, the procedures for providing more process are flawed as they vest too much discretion and power in the Secretary of Defense, essentially asking the fox to guard the hen house.” —PZS
President Barack Obama on Monday lifted a two-year freeze on new military trials at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and suggested Congress was hurting national security by blocking his attempts to move some trials into U.S. civilian courts.
In an apparent acknowledgment that the Guantanamo detention camp won’t be shut down any time soon, Obama also outlined procedures for reviews to be held at least every four years for prisoners held indefinitely without charge or trial.
Paul Keller (CC-BY)