Friday, March 25, 2011

[wvns] Guantánamo not near to closure

Guantánamo not near to closure, White House admits
The White House has acknowledged that it is "probably going to be a while" before the prison at Guantánamo Bay closes, nearly two years after President Barack Obama declared that the facility would shut within a year.
Guantánamo not near to closure, White House admits
Toby Harnden
By Toby Harnden, Washington
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/8227174/Guantnamo-not-near-to-closure-White-House-admits.html


"It's certainly not going to close in the next month," said Robert Gibbs, the press secretary, referring to the first anniversary of the passed deadline. "I think part of this depends on the Republicans' willingness to work with the administration on this."

Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill have stymied a crucial part of the closure plan by blocking the transfer of detainees to American soil for long-term detention and possible trial.

Mr Gibbs sought to blame Republicans, telling CNN. "The question is, are we going to continue to have and let al-Qaeda use Guantánamo Bay as a recruiting tool?"

It has been reported that White House lawyers are drafting a new executive order that would allow the indefinite detention of nearly 50 Guantánamo inmates. Those targeted would be prisoners adjudged by a task force to be unlikely to be convicted in a trial but too dangerous to be freed.

Mr Gibbs said: "'Some would be tried in federal courts, as we've seen done in the past. Some would be tried in military commissions, likely spending the rest of their lives in a maximum-security prison that nobody, including terrorists, have ever escaped from.

"And some, regrettably, will have to be indefinitely detained. Even if we can't prosecute them, we're not putting them back out on the battlefield."

Only three of the 174 detainees still held at Guantánamo have been tried and found guilty. Dozens have been cleared for release but no foreign ally will accept them and there is strong domestic opposition to any being allowed on American soil.

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