Conflict & Justice

Where to go after Guantanamo

On the campaign trail, Obama blamed the Bush administration's policies for making America less safe and tarnishing the country's moral standing in the world. Obama mentioned the world's shame at Guantanamo specifically. The American Civil Liberties Union is pushing Obama to live up to his campaign pledges. The ACLU ran a full page ad on the New York Times calling on Obama to close Guantanamo and shut down the military commissions created by the Bush administration to put detainees there on trial. President Bush has said he'd like to close Guantanamo as well, but White House press spokeswoman said yesterday it's tough to figure out what to do with the remaining detainees. The White House has a point says this international law expert. He says Obama needs to figure out what to do with the U.S. detainees who won't face trial. Another challenge is what to do with the detainees thought to be truly dangerous, peope like the suspected bomber of the U.S.S. Cole and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of 9/11. The professor from earlier says bringing these men to trial in the U.S. also provides significant challenges. What if KSM goes on trial in U.S. court and his defense team argues successfully that he was tortured by the CIA? Would that nullify key evidence against him or would those CIA members be asked to testify in open course? There's speculation that Obama would create a new hybrid court borrowing from military and civilian law to overcome some of these difficulties.

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