WaPo: Guantanamo to Remain Open, Indefinite Detention to Replace Trials
Disheartening news, to say the least. The Washington Post reports:
- Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the four other 9/11 detainees are unlikely to get a trial in federal court or by military commission before the end of President Obama's first term. Instead, they will remain in indefinite detention at Guantanamo.
- Guantanamo will not close in the forseeable future.
The administration has concluded that it cannot put Mohammed on trial in federal court because of the opposition of lawmakers in Congress and in New York. There is also little internal support for resurrecting a military prosecution at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The latter option would alienate liberal supporters.
Like indefinite detention won't alienate us? [More...]
The other reason:
....[K]ey administration officials fear that no federal case could proceed, given stiff congressional opposition. It is expected to grow more intense when the new Republican majority assumes power in the House of Representatives.
What does this say about Obama? That he's ineffective and lacks confidence in his ability to deal with Congress? That he doesn't have the backbone to fight for the policies he believes in and promised when we voted for him? Both?
Doing nothing and trying to sweep the 9/11 defendants under the rug as if they don't exist is not the answer. It's cowardly. President Obama should make the decision he believes in -- try these defendants in federal court. If Congress blocks it, then at least he did his best and stood up for what he believes. Voters will know it's Congress who is to blame. If he just gives up, he loses not only liberal support, but everyone's respect.
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