Obama’s Defense Bill Restarts Gitmo Tribunals

Less Than Three Months Left for Obama to Make Good on Closure Promise

With less than three months left to make good on his promise to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay within one year and virtually no effort made so far to do so, President Barack Obama has signed the military funding bill which will effectively restart military tribunals at the facility.

Today’s move finalizes a plan concocted by the president in May, which would make a handful of cosmetic changes to the tribunal system, giving detainees a little control over their legal counsel and barring certain types of hearsay evidence.

Though some have praised the moves, many insist they don’t go nearly far enough, and that the tribunals continue to have features, including the possibility of trying children, which violate international law.

Despite the move, President Obama insists that he is “serious” about eventually closing the Guantanamo facility, though he no longer appears to be touting his January 22, 2010 deadline and this is widely expected to have fallen by the wayside.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.