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August 02, 2009

Obama Administration Laying Plans to Bring Gitmo Detainees to U.S. Mainland

They're looking at creating a "courtroom-prison complex" at a soon-to-be-closed maximum security prison in Michigan or at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas:

The facility would operate as a hybrid prison system jointly operated by the Justice Department, the military and the Department of Homeland Security.

The administration's plan, according to three government officials, calls for:

_Moving all the Guantanamo detainees to a single U.S. prison. The Justice Department has identified between 60 and 80 who could be prosecuted, either in military or federal criminal courts. The Pentagon would oversee the detainees who would face trial in military tribunals. The Bureau of Prisons, an arm of the Justice Department, would manage defendants in federal courts.

_Building a court facility within the prison site where military or criminal defendants would be tried. Doing so would create a single venue for almost all the criminal defendants, ending the need to transport them elsewhere in the U.S. for trial.

_Providing long-term holding cells for a small but still undetermined number of detainees who will not face trial because intelligence and counterterror officials conclude they are too dangerous to risk being freed.

_Building immigration detention cells for detainees ordered released by courts but still behind bars because countries are unwilling to take them.

Each proposal, according to experts in constitutional and national security law, faces legal and logistics problems.

Congress would ultimately have to approve of this and pass legislation allowing it (a Military Commissions Act II?), something I doubt the President will be able to pull off.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 02:29 PM

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