Patt Morrison for January 14, 2009

RIP Guantanamo Bay?

A lot remains uncertain about how and when it will be done, but President-elect Obama has pledged that the Guantanamo Bay prison has seen its last days. The President-elect plans to issue an executive order on his first full day in office directing the closing of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba, which will be the easiest part of what is sure to be a complicated process. It could take as long as a year to sort out transfers of the remaining 248 enemy combatants and create some kind of hybrid trial system to prosecute the prosecutable prisoners. As for those suspects too dangerous to release but too sensitive to try, their future remains an open question. Even if President Obama closes down a decried symbol of the war on terror, will its problems live on?

* Robert Chesney, professor at the Wake Forest University School of Law; visiting professor at the University of Texas School of Law
* Rep. Jane Harman, (D-Venice); Chair of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence
* Madeline Morris, professor of law at Duke Law School; director, Duke Guantanamo Defense Clinic
* Vijay Padmanabhan, professor of law at Cardoza School of Law; from '03—'08 he was the State Department Office of the Legal Adviser's chief counsel on Guantanamo and Iraq detainee litigation


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