President Obama has admitted that his January 22, 2010 date for closing Guantanamo prison may slip, but reports indicate that it will be done, if not totally, at least in the main by then. Time Magazine (with CNN) reports that an announcement could come in weeks that prisoners are being moved out. Time said today:
“In the coming weeks, we do anticipate that we’ll reach resolution on these issues,” a White House official says, speaking on condition of anonymity. 205 detainees remain in the prison, and a ‘goodly number’ may be relocated before the end of the year, says another senior Administration official.”
We note this with relief, despite the troubling news that some detainees will be tried by the shaky military commissions, whose underlying law has been hacked away by the Supreme Court and Congress in the last few years. We are also troubled that some may remain in indefinite detention, despite Mr. Obama’s pre-election statement that he does not condone it. We have issued statements to the press and the Congress announcing our whole-hearted approval of AG Eric Holder’s decision to try Khalid Sheik Mohammed (KSM) and four others, also accused of plotting the 9/11 attacks, in New York federal courts: and we have urged Congress to not block this action through legislation.
We believe our federal courts are well up to the task of trying the worst of the worst, witnessed by their 90+% conviction rate in such trials, which has resulted in 195 terrorists behind secure walls of maximum security prisons in the United States. We will continue to fight for fairness and justice for all the detainees, whether they readily confess guilt, as have the KSM five, or have been innocently swept up in the chaos of the moment, as have a number of others.
Please read our statements, below.