President Obama’s special task force which was supposed to be working on a plan to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay by the end of the year has revealed today that it will miss its first deeadline this week.
The Tuesday deadline was to present a report for President Obama regarding the long-term detention of the detainees being held at Guantanamo Bay without charges, but appears to have stalled over debates within the task force as to what sort of legal basis they could possibly invent to continue detaining them without charges, albeit someplace other than Guantanamo Bay. Another report, on interrogations, is also being delayed.
The postponement appears to be open-ended, though senior officials in the administration said they expected it to delay the reports by “a few months.” President Obama has indicated that he is “uneasy” about the prospect of keeping detainees in prison without charges indefinitely, though he acknowledged he would probably do so anyhow.
The delay suggests that the president’s camapign promise to close the detention center within a year is in serious doubts. Even if it does close, however, most of the detainees will continue to be held without charges, just in a different prison.