Ten More to Leave Guantanamo

A logjam of sorts has broken, and six Yemenis and four Afghans will be released from Guantanamo and sent home or to other countries within the next several days.

There are 97 Yemenis at Gitmo, comprising 46% of the remaining 210 detainees, 34 of whom have been ordered released. Andy Worthington writes about their dilemma today at Huffpo.

The New York Times takes President Obama and Congress to task for refusing funding to close Gitmo. [More...]

....we are not happy with the way the administration has been deciding which prisoners should be tried in federal criminal courts and which should be tried in military courts. President Obama has yet to forswear the idea of indefinite detention without charges, as he vowed to do while running for president. And there are signs that he, like George W. Bush, will decree that the entire planet is a battlefield and anyone arrested anywhere on terrorism charges may be tried in military tribunals.

The Times also takes a swipe at Republicans who say trying detainees in federal court will be dangerous to the American public:

Republicans offered the usual charge that Mr. Obama is soft on terrorism. Senator John Cornyn of Texas said housing detainees in American cells “will put our citizens in unnecessary danger.” We wondered if he didn’t know that there are more than 350 people currently serving sentences for terrorism in American prisons — including the plotters of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and a former aide of Osama bin Laden.

The Times concludes by calling upon President Obama to step up and do more to get Congress to approve funds for purchasing Thomson and re-tooling it into a Supermax.

Mr. Obama needs to make much more of a personal effort to keep this important pledge. Guantánamo needs to be closed.

He also needs to end indefinite detention without charges. Otherwise, as others have said, moving the detainees to Thomson becomes just a change in zip code. The news of the six Yemenis going home is a welcome step in that direction and the Administration needs to be encouraged to continue its efforts on behalf of the others.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Close Guantanamo at no cost. (none / 0) (#1)
    by Ben Masel on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 11:13:27 AM EST
    Return it to Cuba.

    The worst of the worst! (none / 0) (#2)
    by Steve M on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 11:55:41 AM EST
    Except for those who are not.

    the difference? (none / 0) (#3)
    by diogenes on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 10:20:29 PM EST
    What exactly is the difference between indefinite detention/no contact with the outside/military tribunals at Gitmo versus in Illinois?  Seems like you're giving up security and setting a risk of a suicide bomb for nothing.