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Thread: President Obama calls for halt to Gitmo prosecutions

  1. #1
    Elite Member Mariesoleil's Avatar
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    Default President Obama calls for halt to Gitmo prosecutions

    Obama calls for halt to Gitmo prosecutions

    -President Obama orders Guantanamo cases halted for 120 days
    -Obama had vowed to close naval prison at U.S. base
    -Critics argue inmates have been held for years without being charged with crime


    GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba (CNN) -- In one of his first acts in office, President Obama has ordered the U.S. government to suspend prosecutions of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay for 120 days, military officials said Tuesday.

    A guard keeps watch from a tower at the military facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.


    Papers filed at the U.S. prison camp said the request is made "in the interest of justice and at the direction of the president of the United States." It seeks a delay in proceedings until May 20.

    "The judges will receive the requests and review them, and we anticipate a ruling soon," said Cmdr. Jeffrey Gordon, a Defense Department spokesman.

    Tuesday's directive was issued verbally through Defense Secretary Bob Gates, according to a military official.

    Obama had vowed to close the naval prison at the U.S. base. While Obama's order does not go that far, it will stop the prosecutions of 21 detainees currently facing war crimes charges.

    Jamil Dakwar, a representative for the American Civil Liberties Union at the base, called the move "a good step in the right direction." Gabor Rona, an observer for Human Rights Watch, also called the order "a first step."

    "The very fact that it's one of his first acts reflects a sense of urgency that the U.S. cannot afford one more day of counterproductive and illegal proceedings in the fight against terrorism," said Rona, who was in Cuba to watch the proceedings scheduled this week. Watch former detainee describe conditions at Guantanamo Bay

    Before midnight, prosecutors in two of the 14 currently active cases had filed paperwork asking judges to grant the 120-day continuance. The military official said prosecutors in all ongoing cases are expected to file similar requests Wednesday.

    Among those facing trial at Guantanamo Bay is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the confessed organizer of the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington. A hearing in Mohammed's case was scheduled for Wednesday, and Tuesday night's order is expected to be discussed at that time, the military official told CNN.
    Earlier Tuesday, the judge overseeing pretrial hearings for a 22-year-old prisoner facing trial for the killing of a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan hinted at the uncertain future for the case in an Obama administration.

    "We will reconvene tomorrow, unless otherwise ordered by the commission," Judge Pat Parrish told those in the courtroom.

    The military prison, set up by the Bush administration in 2002, has become a major issue because critics argue it has become a symbol of mismanagement and overreach in the war on terror.

    Human and legal rights advocates complained that many of the detainees were being held indefinitely although there were no criminal charges filed against them.

    Dakwar said the ACLU believes all charges against the prisoners should be dropped.

    "A shutdown of this discredited system is warranted," he said.
    The prison camp currently holds about 245 inmates. Officials said nearly 60 detainees have been cleared for release, but no country has agreed to take them. Watch what may happen to Gitmo's inmates

    Reports of mistreatment of detainees led many, including Obama, to argue that the facility was not ineffective in dealing with alleged enemy combatants or for gathering good intelligence.

    The retired judge in charge of determining which prisoners should face trial told The Washington Post last week that she refused to send one prisoner before the tribunals because "his treatment met the legal definition of torture."

    At his final White House press conference on January 12, Bush was asked whether the military prison and harsh interrogation tactics have damaged America's standing in the world.

    "I strongly disagree with the assessment that our moral standing has been damaged," he said. "It may be damaged amongst some of the elite. But people still understand America stands for freedom; that America is a country that provides such great hope."

    Obama calls for halt to Gitmo prosecutions - CNN.com
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  2. #2
    Elite Member Str8_uncut-jock's Avatar
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    I distinctly remember lots of folks on here and other places saying that Obama wouldn't do this...and here, on his first day, he is already taking action. He certainly has a lot of work ahead, but he is moving quickly.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    No no, they said it about SHUTTING Gitmo. i actually hadn't expected him to halt the proceedings.

    The question does remain whether the tainted evidence garnered by torture at this kangaroo court will be admissable in whatever new legal structure is put into place to try these people.

    If it is, then closing GITMO is just window dressing and the abuses will continue.
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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Justice delayed is not fixing the problem.

    A four-month delay only means that the detainees will have to wait that much longer to see any adjudication of their status.

    It’s difficult to see what Obama expects to get from a further delay, especially since one of the main complaints about Gitmo has been the length of time the men have been held without adjudication.

    This is in essence, an extension on how long this prison will remain open......our governement saying 'we'll get back to you in four months'
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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Well they have to come up with something new and constitutional to try them apparently.

    Im guessing "enemy combatant" status doesn't really fall anywhere within the legal system as such. My guess is they have to investigate the constitutional ramifications and figure out how to do it.

    That's the rosy rundown.
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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Or something new and unconstitutional......

    Many people were aware that this problem wouldn't be solved with a finger snap- and if we laypeople knew, then the campaign surely did. But when you claim you will do something- as they did repeatedly in this case-making it seem as if they had worked out how it was to be done-and then don't do it, it looks like bullshit, for this promise and others.

    But instead of bullshit, we can be nice and call it procrastination.
    It's no longer a dog whistle, it's a fucking trombone


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    Elite Member Mel1973's Avatar
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    could we use "pick our battles" once more?
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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    thats why my assessment was the rosy one.. not the actual one
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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mel1973 View Post
    could we use "pick our battles" once more?
    No, i'm fucking tired of hearing that. It is now consigned to the played out phrase box along with words like 'Maverick' and 'game-changer' and 'Sarah Palin'
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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    thats why my assessment was the rosy one.. not the actual one
    fuck, i didn't get the memo that we are having a 'glass half full' day
    It's no longer a dog whistle, it's a fucking trombone


    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


    If I wanted the government in my womb I'd fuck a Senator

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    Elite Member Str8_uncut-jock's Avatar
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    Just read in an AP story that the Obama administration is circulating a draft proposal to shut down Gitmo within a year and no trials will occur during that time. It noted that most people would be released and those not released will be transferred to a federal corrections facility and a real trial will take place. It is a move in the right direction...I think in this case the administration is taking the time to close Gitmo in an appropriate way. Time will tell.

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    Gold Member mamaste's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    Im guessing "enemy combatant" status doesn't really fall anywhere within the legal system as such. My guess is they have to investigate the constitutional ramifications and figure out how to do it
    Right. George Bush made that up to hold the detainees indefinitely and ignore the Geneva Convention.

    I don't have a problem with halting the trials. They weren't supposed to be tried by a military tribunal in the first place. Maybe now, those who were involved in the attacks on 9/11 can have their day in court.

  13. #13
    Elite Member Mel1973's Avatar
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    George Bush made up "Enemy Combatant".... have you ever heard him use a big word properly? I think you guys are gonna have to try a little harder on this one.
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