President Obama has ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed by January 2010. To meet that deadline, the administration may push for a new detention facility on U.S. soil. Such a compound, sources tell AP, would include space for the indefinite detention of prisoners deemed too dangerous to face trial.

It would also house a court where detainees could be tried on the premises. Both the military and the Justice Department would be involved, and it seems detainees would be tried in a civilian or military system, depending on what suits the government.

The cheaper alternative of simply transferring Gitmo inmates into the existing justice system is considered politically unfeasible. Congress already has blocked one effort to bring detainees to the U.S.

AP via Google:

The administration’s plan, according to three government officials, calls for:

— Moving all the Guantanamo detainees to a single U.S. prison. The Justice Department has identified between 60 and 80 who could be prosecuted, either in military or federal criminal courts. The Pentagon would oversee the detainees who would face trial in military tribunals. The Bureau of Prisons, an arm of the Justice Department, would manage defendants in federal courts.

— Building a court facility within the prison site where military or criminal defendants would be tried. Doing so would create a single venue for almost all the criminal defendants, ending the need to transport them elsewhere in the U.S. for trial.

— Providing long-term holding cells for a small but still undetermined number of detainees who will not face trial because intelligence and counterterror officials conclude they are too dangerous to risk being freed.

— Building immigration detention cells for detainees ordered released by courts but still behind bars because countries are unwilling to take them.

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