Why the Gitmo policies may not change
By JOSH GERSTEIN | 1/23/09 4:28 AM EST
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5. The orders downplay the possibility that some prisoners might be set free in America.
Obama ordered that when Guantanamo closes, any remaining inmates “be returned to their home country, released, transferred to a third country, or transferred to another United States detention facility in a manner consistent with law and the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States.” But Obama’s wordsmiths seem to have deliberately trimmed out any explicit mention of the explosive possibility of freeing prisoners on American soil.
While Obama’s aides seem to prefer trying prisoners in civil courts or freeing them abroad, there are no obvious charges to be filed against some of the detainees. Once Guantanamo closes, letting them loose in the U.S. may be the only option if other countries won’t take them.
Craig said he was “hopeful” that other governments will take many of the detainees, but some nations may not step up until the U.S. does. “One question a lot of countries keep asking is, ‘How many are you going to take?” Waxman said. “There may be some countries that want to earn some credit [with the] new administration…but I don’t expect this problem to go away.”
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