Gitmo Not Closing By January
2009-09-26 0:00

From: CTV.ca


U.S. President Barack Obama may not be able to meet his stated goal of closing the much-criticized Guantanamo Bay prison by January as his administration runs into daunting legal and logistical hurdles to moving the more than 220 detainees still there.

Senior administration officials acknowledged for the first time Friday that difficulties in completing the lengthy review of detainee files and resolving other thorny questions mean the president's promised January deadline may slip.

Obama's aides have stepped up their work toward closure and the president remains as committed to closing the facility as he was when, as one of his first acts in office, he pledged to shut it down, said the officials, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity in order to more freely discuss the sensitive issue.

They said the White House still was hoping to meet the deadline through a stepped-up effort.

The U.S. military prison in Cuba was created by former President George W. Bush after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks as a landing spot for suspected al-Qaida, Taliban and foreign fighters captured in Afghanistan and elsewhere. But it has since become a lightning rod of anti-U.S. criticism around the globe. There are approximately 225 detainees still being held at the prison.

Obama promised soon after taking office -- and many times since -- to close the prison, arguing that doing so is crucial to restoring America's image in the world and to creating a more effective anti-terror approach.

But eight months after Obama's initial pledge and with only four months to go before the January deadline, a number of difficult issues remain unresolved. They include establishing a new set of rules for military trials, finding a location for a new prison to house detainees and finding host countries for those who can be released.

This has prompted top Republicans in Congress to demand that the prison stay open for now, saying it is too dangerous to rush the closure. Even Democrats defied the president, saying they needed more information about Obama's plan before supporting it. Congress is for now denying Obama funds to shut down Guantanamo.

After Obama's promise, administration officials and lawyers began to review the files on each detainee. At issue: which prisoners can be tried, and whether to do so in military or civilian courts; which can be released to other nations; and -- the hardest question -- which prisoners are too dangerous or their cases too compromised that they must be held indefinitely.

A major complaint surfaced immediately -- that the Bush administration had not established a consolidated repository of intelligence and evidence on each prisoner. It took longer than expected to build such a database, the officials said, because information was scattered throughout agencies and inconsistent.

Files have now been completed, and prosecutors have also concluded their initial review of the detainees and recommended to the Justice Department an unspecified number who appear eligible for prosecution, the officials told the AP. The Justice Department and the Pentagon now will work together to determine which prisoners should be tried in military courts and which in civilian ones, the officials said. They would not provide a number recommended for prosecution since it could change.

The decision on which prisoners will be prosecuted had been expected by Nov. 16, and the officials said they are on track to meet -- or beat -- that goal. Navy Capt. John F. Murphy, the chief military prosecutor, had said previously that about 65 cases are viable for prosecution.

Meantime, Obama has kept pending several war-crimes trials that were already in progress when he took office. The administration has asked judges to suspend all proceedings to give it time to complete its review of cases.

Also, Obama has adopted some changes to the military tribunals, but wants Congress to enact more to address criticism that the courts favour the prosecution and will not withstand constitutional challenges. That legislation is moving forward on Capitol Hill, but is not complete.

The government also must decide where inside the U.S. to move the detainees, and that highly fraught choice still has not been made, the officials said. A maximum security prison in Standish, Michigan, and the military penitentiary at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas are under consideration as possible locations. Whatever facility is chosen, the Pentagon will have to make improvements necessary to safely house the prisoners.

The officials noted that the U.S. prison system already holds 216 people convicted as international terrorists.

Another front in the effort to close the prison is the problem of finding countries willing to take in those detainees deemed eligible for release. The administration so far has transferred 14 prisoners to other countries, the officials said.

The administration will not "voluntarily release" any detainee inside the United States, the officials said. But this does not address what might happen if any of the detainees who are tried are found innocent -- a subject of considerable angst about Obama's plans, both in Congress and among the public. However, the U.S. could -- and likely would -- seek to transfer those people to other countries in that case, as none is a U.S. citizen.

Article from: CTV.ca



Related Articles
Mohammed Jawad: 'I was 12 when I was arrested and sent to Guantanamo'
Life After Guantanamo: Why the Media's Happy-Ending Narrative Is Totally Bankrupt
U.S. senate votes to block funds for Guantanamo closure
Ex-Bush Official: Many at Guantanamo Bay Are Innocent
Guantanamo Close - Prisoners Moved to EU
US hails Lisbon Guantanamo offer
US General 'duped' over Guantanamo Bay
Guantanamo operating manual posted on Internet
Angry Judge Considers Fate of Young Gitmo Detainee
Military: Gitmo detainee dies of apparent suicide
Officials: Gitmo court system likely to stay open
CIA Jet Carrying Four Tons of Cocaine Also Made Trips to Gitmo


Latest News from our Front Page

German Government Evict Poor Germans From Their Homes For Migrant Asylum Seekers
2015-09-03 2:40
This is a video of a report on replacement of poor Germans with Middle Eastern asylum seekers. This was made broudcasted on a German Left-leaning TV station on August 28, 2015. It's original title: The most poor of the poor have to vacate their homes for asylum seekers. Source: youtube.com
Black Lives Matter Radio Host Calls for Killing Whites and Police
2015-09-03 1:48
“It’s open season on killing whites and police officers." A blogtalkradio program associated with the Black Lives Matter movement spewed racist hate and called for a race war Monday, reports Breitbart. The YouTube video of the audio recording has since been removed as a violation of YouTube's policy prohibiting hate speech, but Breitbart has video (below) of the host "King Noble" making the comments, taken from ...
Irish will be an ethnic minority in Ireland by 2050
2015-09-02 22:32
The former President of Dublin City University says that Ireland’s natives will be a minority in the country by the middle of this century... Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski was referring to unpublished and unidentified United Kingdom based research. Speaking at the conferring ceremony at DCU on Tuesday he said that the Irish in Ireland will be a minority by 2050 while ...
Immigrant Crisis Is the Final Nail in the EU Coffin
2015-09-02 21:23
One of the biggest flaws with the EU, was the idea that they could house dozens of cultures with distinct histories and languages, all under one roof, and expect them to thrive. You can’t hold 28 nations together under one union, when all of these countries have wildly different interests, expectations, and priorities. Every time the EU faces a problem, ...
Three-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jewish children told 'the non-Jews' are 'evil' in worksheet produced by London school
2015-09-02 19:43
Documents seen by The Independent show children are taught about the horrors of the Holocaust when they are still in kindergarten at the Beis Rochel boys’ school in north London. A whistle-blower, who wished to remain anonymous, has shown The Independent a worksheet given to boys aged three and four at the school. In it, children were asked to complete questions ...
More News »