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AP: Gitmo Court System Likely to Stay Open

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Political Heretic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:54 PM
Original message
AP: Gitmo Court System Likely to Stay Open
By LARA JAKES
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration may revamp and restart the Bush-era military trial system for suspected terrorists as it struggles to determine the fate of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay and fulfill a pledge to close the prison by January.

The move would further delay terrorism trials and, coupled with recent comments by U.S. military and legal officials, amounts to a public admission by President Barack Obama's team that delivering on that promise is easier said than done.

...

Asked at a Senate hearing last week if the administration would abandon the Guantanamo system, Defense Secretary Robert Gates answered: "Not at all."

...

"To revive a fatally flawed system that was specifically designed to evade due process and the rule of law would be a grave error and a huge step backward," Jameel Jaffer, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union.

(more - please read the full article; sometimes the 4 paragraph limit on DU makes it impossible to give the full context)

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_GUANTANAMO_TR...
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stillcool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:00 PM
Response to Original message
1. They may do a lot of things..
according to sources.
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Political Heretic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:11 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. These sources would be Gibbs, Gates and Holder.
But way to blow it off without reading.

The AP piece isn't even negative. It spends as much time explaining how the administration wants to go back and fix what made the old tribunal system so unjust and guarantee more rights to prisoners.
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stillcool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:14 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. I read the piece the first..
or second time it was posted. Anonymous sources citing what 'may' be done doesn't do anything for me. My apologies if you are offended.
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Political Heretic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:19 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. They aren't anonymous sources.
:shrug:
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stillcool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:27 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. There are two sources...with 'if's'
Edited on Sat May-02-09 11:32 PM by stillcool
who are repeating what has been said from the get-go. The reason for the year deadline was to find evidence not tainted by torture that could be used to bring charges in some kind of legal mechanism.
Attorney General Eric Holder went further at a recent House hearing, saying the military commissions still could be used but "would be different from those that were previously in place."

"We'll be making, again, individualized determinations about where - for that group of people who should be tried, where they should be tried," Holder testified. Among the options he described were "military tribunals that have significant changes made to the manner in which they would be conducted."


----------------------------------------------
Asked at a Senate hearing last week if the administration would abandon the Guantanamo system, Defense Secretary Robert Gates answered: "Not at all."

"The commissions are very much still on the table," Gates said, adding that nine Guantanamo detainees are already being tried in military tribunals.

Gates also alluded to the administration's likely request for Congress to tweak to law that created the Guantanamo legal system.


"Should there be any changes to the military commission law, if the decision is made to retain the military commissions?" he asked rhetorically.
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Political Heretic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:46 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. There are three, and none of them are anonymous.
Gates, Gibbs and Holder.

I think we all understand the year timetable. The more interesting discussion is around whether continuing on with a modified form of the tribunals that were previously established is the best option.

Probably room to discuss that.
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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:02 PM
Response to Original message
2. Geeze! AP is at full throttle today!
The Obama administration MAY....

In otherwords, there is no definite on this...and knowing AP,
they err on the side that makes Barack Obama look his worse.

Personally, I don't believe a thing they write, in particular
something that goes against why Guantanamo is being closed
to begin with.
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Political Heretic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:09 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. It's more than "MAY" and I think the AP article did a decent job of presenting balanced info....
..that's why I said please read the full article. The AP has plenty of on the record quotes from cabinet level officials talking about reviving the system, so that's fair to write an article about. I highlighted the ACLU objections and concerns, but there's also this:

Attorney General Eric Holder went further at a recent House hearing, saying the military commissions still could be used but "would be different from those that were previously in place."

And this:

"Among the planned changes to the law, both officials said Saturday, would be limits on the evidence used against the detainees. Much of the evidence compiled against at least some of the detainees is classified and cannot be used in civilian courts without exposing the secret material."

And this:

Gates also alluded to the administration's likely request for Congress to tweak to law that created the Guantanamo legal system.

"Should there be any changes to the military commission law, if the decision is made to retain the military commissions?" he asked rhetorically.


All of those statements reflect an administration grappling with tough options for dealing with Gitmo detainees and clearly interested in a system that safeguards more rights for prisoners and more responsible trials.

But its certainly cause for concern and discussion - because there are huge problems with a tribunal process of any kind. I believe the AP hit a moderately "middle" tone between both sides.
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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:28 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. There are a lot of May and Might in this article...
and I read the whole thing before commenting.

Here is all one needs to know about what is going on...
as this is what has been going on since Obama announced the closing of Guatanamo.

Although as many as one-third of the detainees will be released or sent to other nations for trial, Holder said the administration is considering how to prosecute the rest of them.

"We'll be making, again, individualized determinations about where - for that group of people who should be tried, where they should be tried," Holder testified. Among the options he described were "military tribunals that have significant changes made to the manner in which they would be conducted."


In other words, they are still determining how they will deal with the remaining folks at Guatanamo. This is not news....although AP would like for you to think so.

Anything to shake Obama's base is printed by the AP. That is what they do.

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Political Heretic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:50 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. I don't interpret it as you do.
The AP report didn't "shake me." But I do think its an important issue (i.e. what are we going to do with these guys and is a modified version of the old tribunal system the best way to go) that's worth continuing to keep in the public spot light.

In contrast, it seems like you are easily startled and threatened by virtually anything that might evoke some discussion or debate about the best way forward. That seems disturbing to me.

What's funny is I didn't even expect that there would be some kind of reaction about this piece being an attack. That's particularly why I said please read the whole thing first. I posted the parts that concern me most, but there's tons in there about the obvious attempts being made by this administration to develop a better system for handling these guys.

Is it the best system? I think that's ripe for discussion.
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creeksneakers2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 12:25 AM
Response to Original message
11. Its better to give them any kind of trial for now
Even under the old system, some were cleared of wrongdoing. Those who are convicted can always be retried. Why not have some hearings now? Let the people in there with no valid evidence against them go.

Finding a new system won't be easy.

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