Archive for the ‘prisoners’ Category

Gitmo, Human Rights, Legalities and Terrorist: Will This Be the Bipartisan Test for Obama?

January 25, 2009

Senator John McCain is a former prisoner of war (POW).  A tortured prisoner of war.

Senator Lindsey Graham is a lawyer.  A military lawyer.

Both these allies could be just the help President Barack Obama needs as he tries to navigate the difficult waters of the prisoner, legal, human rights and torture issues surrounding the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The president has asked that the issue be handled with bipartisan resolve and principled care.

“We look forward to working with the president and his administration on these issues, keeping in mind that the first priority of the U.S. government is to guarantee the security of the American people,” McCain  said in a joint statement with Graham.

“This is a tough battleground to determine if we can work in a bipartisan manner,” said one old U.S. Senate hand.  “But the economic stimulus bill will be tough too.”

In this Jan. 11, 2002 file photo, released by the Department ... 
In this Jan. 11, 2002 file photo, released by the Department of Defense, detainees wearing orange jump suits sit in a holding area as military police patrol during in-processing at the temporary detention facility Camp X-Ray on Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in Cuba. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy, Shane T.McCoy, File)

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From Senator John Kerry:

Thursday was an important day for the rule of law in the United States of America.

With a handful of signatures to executive orders, President Obama ordered the eventual closure of Guantanamo Bay prison and CIA “black site” prisons, and placed interrogation in all American facilities by all U.S. personnel under the guidelines of the Army Field Manual.

In a season of transformational changes, these are among the most meaningful, because they send a powerful message that America’s struggle against terrorism will once against honor some of the most cherished ideals of our republic: respect for the rule of law, individual rights, and America’s moral leadership.

Read the rest:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/01/25/k
erry.guantanamo/index.html?iref=newssearch

John Kerry says Barack Obama sent a message that fight against terror will respect America's values.

John Kerry says Barack Obama sent a message that fight against terror will respect America’s values.

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By ANNE FLAHERTY, Associated Press Writer

President Barack Obama‘s pledge of bipartisan cooperation with Congress will be tested as he tries to fulfill a campaign promise to close Guantanamo Bay and establish a new system for prosecuting suspected terrorists.

The undertaking is an ambitious one. Fraught with legal complexities, it gives Republicans ample opportunity to score political points if he doesn’t get it right. There’s also the liklihood of a run-in with his former rival, Sen. John McCain, a former prisoner of war who before running for president staked his career on overhauling the nation’s detainee policies.

“We look forward to working with the president and his administration on these issues, keeping in mind that the first priority of the U.S. government is to guarantee the security of the American people,” McCain, R-Ariz., said in a joint statement with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

The statement seemed aimed at putting Obama on notice that he must deal with Congress on the matter.

In his first week in office, Obama ordered Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba to be closed within a year, CIA secret prisons shuttered and abusive interrogations ended.

So far, Obama’s team has given every indication it will engage lawmakers, including Republicans, on the issue. Graham and McCain were among several Republicans briefed last week by White House counsel Greg Craig and handed drafts of the executive orders.

But once the two sides begin delving into details, there will be ample room for dispute.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090125/a
p_on_go_pr_wh/guantanamo_politics

McCain on working with Democrats:
http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/politi
cs/2009/01/22/sot.lkl.mccain.inauguration.cnn

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2009/0
1/25/mccain-i-wont-be-a-rubber-stamp-for-obama/

Pentagon Says Many Former Gitmo Prisoners Return to Terror; Some Experts Don’t Agree

January 24, 2009

The Pentagon and the U.S. intelligence community estimates that some 61 former Guantanamo Bay prisoners have returned to terrorist activities after their release.  Several reporters and intelligence experts disagree.

The Pentagon report, released days before President Obama took office, says 18 former Gitmo detainees are confirmed to have participated in terrorist attacks, and 43 are suspected to have been involved in attacks.

That figure would be about 11 percent of the roughly 520 prisoners who have been released from the Guantanamo facility.

President Barack Obama ordered the Gitmo prison closed just after he took office this week.

Several experts say the Pentagon has inflated the numbers of released prisoners known to have returned to terror activities.  Some say this number inflation is meant to influence policy…..

The issue really is: what if one man goes from prison back to mass killing and terror?

Realted:
Al-Qaeda, Gitmo Quandary: After Prison, Suppose Just One Terrorists Destroys Your Way of Life?

Detainee-turned-terrorist numbers raise eyebrows

Related:
Pentagon: 61 ex-Guantanamo inmates return to terrorism

From CNN:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/01/
24/gitmo.detainees/index.html

Obama calls for halt to Gitmo prosecutions

January 21, 2009

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.

From CNN

Read the rest:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITIC
S/01/21/guantanamo.hearings/index.html

The US flag flies over a razorwire fence in Guantanamo Bay. ... 
The US flag flies over a razorwire fence in Guantanamo Bay at the military prison.(AFP/Pool/File/Mandel Ngan)

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From The Washington Post

In one of its first actions, the Obama administration instructed military prosecutors late Tuesday to seek a 120-day suspension of legal proceedings involving detainees at the naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba — a clear break with the approach of the outgoing Bush administration.

The instruction came in a motion filed with a military court in the case of five defendants accused of organizing the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. The motion called for “a continuance of the proceedings” until May 20 so that “the newly inaugurated president and his administration [can] review the military commissions process, generally, and the cases currently pending before military commissions, specifically.”

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/cont
ent/article/2009/01/20/AR2009012004743
.html?hpid=topnews