White House Gitmo Report Downplays Chances Court Could Release Anyone

Insists Relocating Detainees to US Wouldn't Lead to Releasing Them

The White House legal team has produced a nine-page document overnight attempting to address Congressional concerns surrounding the possibility of closing Guantanamo Bay, assuring them that the legal limbo the captives find themselves in could be maintained inside the continental United States.

After promising to close the detention facility upon taking office, President Obama gave consideration to moving the prison outright, first to Standish, MI and later to Thomson, IL. Congress blocked any such move.

Congressmen argued that if the detainees were on US soil they’d have legal rights, and that the ones against whom no evidence exists might conceivably be released. Today’s report assures them that existing law provides “robust protection” against letting anyone go, and said Congress could alter the law more to facilitate open-ended, court-free detention right here at home, combing the cost savings of a domestic operation with the unconscionable treatment the detainees are used to in military custody.

When President Obama initially talked about closing Guantanamo, way back in 2009, it was couched as getting America out from under the stigma of Guantanamo and extra-legal detention. Now, with the aging prison pretty well set to keep holding detainees forever, officials seem more interested in relocating it wholesale to American soil, primarily for convenience’s sake.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.