Closing Gitmo: It Ain't Rocket Science
The Center for Constitutional Rights has issued a new report on closing Guantanamo. It's as easy as 1-2-3.
- Send home those who can go home
- Secure safe haven for those who cannot, and
- Charge those who can be charged and try them in ordinary federal criminal court.
The full report is available here (pdf). [More...]
The report includes new and comprehensive numbers and lists of detainee status by nationality. Of the 250 men who remain, CCR says:
Most can be returned to their home countries through vigorous diplomacy. A smaller number need to be offered protection in the United States or third countries, many of whom have already begun to come forward to offer help to the new administration. There is no justification for continued detention without trial or the creation of special courts; such proposals would continue the human rights disaster rather than end it.
Update: The ACLU agrees. In a press release today, it says closing Gitmo should not be put on the back burner. Obama may have a full plate, but this is one that needs to be addressed quickly:
President-elect Obama is inheriting not only a financial market meltdown, but also a meltdown of a legal system under which the Bush administration has held individuals for years without charge, allowed torture and waterboarding and allowed hearsay evidence in specious military commissions. When the founding fathers broke away from England because of economic problems like taxation without representation, their very first act was to establish a set of laws. The Constitution came along well before the creation of the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve because there is nothing more important in America than our rights and our values.The ACLU provides these recommendations:
Closing Guantánamo and the military commissions is a matter of both reclaiming our international reputation and increasing our national security, and must be done immediately.
Each detainee's case must be reviewed by the new Justice Department. If there is evidence of criminal conduct – and one would hope that, after all these years, the government with its vast resources in the Defense Department, the Justice Department, the CIA and FBI would have collected untainted evidence against those detainees it claims are dangerous or guilty – detainees should be prosecuted in our traditional courts, which are the best in the world and fully capable of handling sensitive national security issues without compromising fundamental rights. If there is not, detainees should be repatriated to countries that don't practice torture. Fundamental and transformative change is neither incremental nor tentative.It adds a message to Obama:
"President-elect Obama says he wants to look forward, but you can't look forward without looking back. You can't know where to go and how to get there without knowing where you've been. Only a full airing of the maladies that have plagued our democracy for eight years and an unconditional return to our fundamental values and the Constitution will give us back an America we can be proud of."
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