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DOJ Says Hold 50 Detainees Indefinitely

From a suddenly understanding Washington Post:

Justice task force recommends about 50 Guantanamo detainees be held indefinitely

By Peter Finn
Friday, January 22, 2010; A01

A Justice Department-led task force has concluded that nearly 50 of the 196 detainees at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, should be held indefinitely without trial under the laws of war, according to Obama administration officials.

The task force’s findings represent the first time that the administration has clarified how many detainees it considers too dangerous to release but unprosecutable [sic] because officials fear trials could compromise intelligence-gathering and because detainees could challenge evidence obtained through coercion

"There is no statutory regime in America that allows us to hold people without charge or trial indefinitely," said Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union.

But the efforts of the task force, which this week completed its case-by-case review of the detainees still being held at Guantanamo Bay, allows the Obama administration to claim at least a small measure of progress toward closing the facility.

"We’re still moving forward and in a much more deliberate and less haphazard manner than was the case before," said an administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the recommendations have not been made public. "All policies encounter reality, and it’s painful, but this one holds up better than most."

If by "holding up," you mean that the policy is not being implemented. Guantanamo is still open and detainees are still being held indefinitely.

The task force has recommended that Guantanamo Bay detainees be divided into three main groups: about 35 who should be prosecuted in federal or military courts; at least 110 who can be released, either immediately or eventually; and the nearly 50 who must be detained without trial.

Administration officials argue that detaining terrorism suspects under Congress’s authorization of the use of force against al-Qaeda and the Taliban is legal and that each detainee has the right to challenge his incarceration in habeas corpus proceedings in federal court.

Which is exactly what the Bush administration’s position eventually became. A position we seem to recall Mr. Obama railing against.

In a May speech, Obama said detention policies "cannot be unbounded" and promised to reshape standards. "We must have a thorough process of periodic review, so that any prolonged detention is carefully evaluated and justified," he said.

Yes, we thought we remembered correctly.

The group of at least 110 detainees cleared for release includes two categories. The task force deemed approximately 80 detainees, including about 30 Yemenis, eligible for immediate repatriation or resettlement in a third country. About 30 other Yemenis were placed in a category of their own, with their release contingent upon dramatically stabilized conditions in their home country, where the government has been battling a branch of al-Qaeda and fighting a civil war…

Moving a significant number of detainees to the United States remains key to the administration’s now-delayed plan to empty the military facility. The federal government plans to acquire a state prison in Thomson, Ill., to house Guantanamo Bay detainees, but the plan faces major hurdles.

Congress has barred the transfer of the detainees to the United States except for prosecution. And a coalition of Republicans opposed to any transfers and some Democrats critical of detention without trial could derail the possibility of using the Thomson facility for anything other than military commissions, according to congressional staffers

There goes ‘Gitmo North.’

Some European officials, who would like to see Guantanamo Bay closed without instituting indefinite detention, are advocating the creation of an internationally funded rehabilitation center for terrorism suspects in Yemen and possibly Afghanistan. They say such a facility would gradually allow the transfer of all detainees from those countries back to their homelands, according to two sources familiar with the plan…

Oh, yeah. Yemen has a terrific record for rehabilitating terrorists.

By the way, we have officially passed Mr. Obama’s long promised deadline for the closing of Guantanamo.

And the sea levels still aren’t being lowered, either.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, January 22nd, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “DOJ Says Hold 50 Detainees Indefinitely”

  1. mr_bill says:

    Does this mean that the left is going to start accusing Obama of ‘war crimes’ or apologize to President Bush? Since its obvoiusly ‘ok’ now that Obama is doing it, my money is on neither.

  2. Rusty Shackleford says:

    (Requests from the Obama administration to Bush for tips and techniques on how to do this went unanswered.)

    Would love to read that someplace

  3. canary says:

    The MMM movement is growing. Masked Muslim Monsters

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