Gitmo Will Be this Year’s Campaign Issue

Via Laura, ABC reports that Bush is considering closing Gitmo.

President Bush will soon decide whether to close Guantanamo Bay as a prison for al-Qaeda suspects, sources tell ABC News. High-level discussions among top advisers have escalated in the past week, with the most senior administration officials in continuous talks about the future of the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay–and how it will be dramatically changed and/or closed in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling that gave detainees there access to federal courts.

Sources have confirmed that President Bush is expected to be briefed on these pressing GTMO issues–and may reach a decision on the future of the naval base as a prison for al Qaeda suspects–before he leaves for the G8 on Saturday.

As a number of people have pointed out, the Boumediene decision basically eliminates the reason for Gitmo. BushCo had used Gitmo because Cuba technically retains sovereignty over the land, so–they claimed–the US military could evade US habeas corpus laws. But Anthony Kennedy didn’t buy that logic, meaning the entire reason for Gitmo has now been invalidated. So why keep it open?

Particularly when you can turn Gitmo into a campaign issue. ABC notes, in passing, that subsequent to making a decision on Gitmo, Bush will basically dump the whole festering problem into Congress’ lap.

Bush has not decided whether he will announce that GTMO should be closed, sources say. But at the very least, sources say, he will soon announce a host of these legal and policy changes that will force Congress to come up with a solution–including where to imprison those detainees if GTMO does, in fact, shut its doors. [my emphasis]

I guess it’s not enough to time the Gitmo Show Trials to coincide with the election. Now, Bush is going to demand that Congress legislate on Gitmo during election season. In 2002, we had the AUMF. In 2006, we had MCA. I guess this year it’s Gitmo’s turn.

Lovely. Congress always thinks so clearly when Bush plays this trick.

  1. Leen says:

    Gitmo and all of the crimes committed by the Bush regime the last seven and a half years

  2. katiejacob says:

    From Lichtblau in NYT today:

    A federal judge in California said Wednesday that the wiretapping law established by Congress was the “exclusive” means for the president to eavesdrop on Americans, and he rejected the government’s claim that the president’s constitutional authority as commander in chief trumped that law.

    Hopefully this will be a campaign issue too.

    • cboldt says:

      A federal judge in California said Wednesday that the wiretapping law established by Congress was the “exclusive” means for the president to eavesdrop on Americans, and he rejected the government’s claim that the president’s constitutional authority as commander in chief trumped that law.

      I’m reading through the decision now, and don’t know exactly what to make of it as “bottom line.”

      As a practical matter, Judge Walker says the plaintiffs have to prove having been under secret surveillance – and he notices that in 30 years of FISA, there have been ZERO claims adjudicated under 50 USC 1810, the civil liability statute.

      His contention that “Congress intended FISA to trump state secret” is hollow.

      At the same time, taken as a whole, the opinion describes how FISA itself facilitates 4th amendment violations without judicial recourse. Here’s Congress, on the one hand saying that FISA protect privacy; and on the other hand, Judge Walker’s description of how the privacy protections supposedly built into FISA are a legislative charade.

      • emptywheel says:

        Here’s my take on it.

        I didn’t include it in the post–but that seems to be where Walker’s going with his mention of the Mayfield case. It suggests that, if Mayfield’s suit is successful, there would be room to make similar claims wrt warrantless wiretapping.

  3. brendanx says:


    More on that Colombia thing in the Washington Post (I can’t find a link to the article): McCain, Graham and Lieberman (both accompanied McCain) were briefed by Uribe the night before the operation.

    • brendanx says:…..8;pos=list

      While in Washington a shake-up in McCain’s campaign organization focused attention on the doubts many Republicans have voiced about his strategy and message, Lieberman said the fact that Colombian officials chose to disclose their rescue plan in advance to McCain testified to his colleague’s international standing.

      “I think it was a sign of confidence of President Uribe and the defense minister in Senator McCain, and maybe in the two of us, that they were prepared to share this information last night, which was highly classified.”

      McCain spoke with Uribe by telephone shortly before 4 p.m. local time but revealed only a few details because he said the operation was “classified.”

      “I don’t think that there is an established protocol” for such briefings, said a McCain aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity. ” ‘Protocol’ is not a word I would associate with this.”

      McCain learned that the effort had succeeded more than an hour after his plane left Cartagena.

      • DeadLast says:

        The truth is, unfortunately, that Betancourt probably would not have been freed had McCain not been in need of showing off his “freedom muscles.”

        Before he left on the trip, he made the big point of saying that “partisanship” ends at the nation’s borders. I think he meant to say “oversight and scrutiny end at the nation’s borders.” Followed by “Long Live King George!”

        • brendanx says:

          Given that McCain already supports a Colombia free trade deal, I guess I’m asking what the “quo” and “quid” really are. Merely reflected glory for McCain? In exchange for what?

        • PraedorAtrebates says:

          I don’t see how this has anything to do with anything. I read the headline, and the fact that McSame was in country and there is just no connection to me whatsoever. I don’t see how he can benefit from this as he had zero to do with it (as did Bush – this was a COLUMBIAN army operation, not a US operation).

          The only people that could magically make this some benefit to McSame are the punditocracy who usually make things up from squat.

          To me, McSame in Columbia at the time of this op is a total non-sequitor and pure happenstance. Or a pathetic means of TRYING to suck off a independent operation (somehow) by another country so he can try to claim some part in the thing. He was given advance warning of the whole thing so he could be sure to be in the area so he could…what? Say “nice work” and claim credit for saying “nice work”?

          Hell, McSame is probably saddened by the complete NON-loss of life. He probably wanted to see some military fireworks blowing the shit out of people, ANY people, so long as they could be labeled “leftists” or “evildoers”.

  4. DeadLast says:

    Bush doesn’t care about the law. For him, keeping Gitmo open will be a sure sign of his divinity authority. How dare the Supreme Court tell him what to do? How dare anyone suggust that he follow the law?

    Let’s face it, with the exception of a few (and clearly not a filabuster-proof minority), most Democrats in Congress are there for self-flattery and to rub shoulders with the wealthy and powerful. (Even the ex-Orange County, CA Republican sherriff boasted that the benefits of public office included honobbing with billionaires and getting “phenomenal” sex.)

    So what can we expect? More of the same — as long as the majority of Americans are willing to accept a few pieces of silver for thier cherished democratic rights.

  5. JTMinIA says:

    OT (but related to campaigns):

    What are the odds that someone in the State Dept tipped off McCain as to when the raid/trick to rescue Betancourt would happen, so that he could be in Columbia as the time?

  6. DefendOurConstitution says:

    I am not sure I understand how Bush can demand Congress clean up. Didn’t he unilaterally create GITMO? Couldn’t Congress ignore any request and shove it off to the Pentagon to resolve (after all it was the Pentagon that did this without any authority from Congress)?

    Yet know how Democrats never back away from a losing issue (”How the Democratic Congress put terrorists in your neighborhood this year.”) and will probably not disappoint.

    • cboldt says:

      I am not sure I understand how Bush can demand Congress clean up.

      I’m having trouble figuring that one out too. The executive has the full power to detain prisoners at any facility at its disposal. I don’t think GTMO “detractors” object so much to the location as to the “judicial process” (both civilian and military courts) and the Courts are in the process of cleaning up the “judicial process” as it applies to the detainees.

      I don’t see a lingering problem.

  7. george7 says:

    Don’t forget that only one or two percent of U.S.-held detainees are now in Guantanamo. At least 25,000 are being held elsewhere, in Iraq, Afghanistan and CIA black sites around the world. Iraq holds another estimated 25,000. Closing Guantanamo, as important as it is, solves virtually nothing.

    • bluesy says:

      “Don’t forget that only one or two percent of U.S.-held detainees are now in Guantanamo. At least 25,000 are being held elsewhere, in Iraq, Afghanistan and CIA black sites around the world. Iraq holds another estimated 25,000.”

      You make a point that many in the U.S. don’t know. Gitmo is a small percentage of detainees in comparison to the big picture.
      It sickens me as an American to know that our government is turning a blind eye to this atrocity.
      Nothing would give me more satisfaction then to see Chimpy and his gang of thugs charged with war crimes by the International community. What bothers me is that I don’t believe anyone of are so called leaders in congress have the spine to investigate and charge these people with federal crimes.

      • george7 says:

        Thanks for your comment. There is no statute of limitations on war crimes. Members of this Administration will face the “Pinochet factor” for the rest of their lives. In other words they will need to work carefully with their travel agents. See Scott Horton’s piece called “Travel Advisory.”

        • bmaz says:

          That is a pipe dream. Unless the US formally allows other countries this jurisdiction, none will be assuming it against the wishes of the current government of the United States, and that will never be signed off on by an Obama or any other administration. This is sheer folly.

          • george7 says:

            I don’t associate Scott Horton with sheer folly, though you are free to do so, in which case we will learn more about you than about him.

            Here is an excerpt from his article.

            Is it likely that prosecutions will be brought overseas? Yes. It is reasonably likely. Sands’s book contains an interview with an investigating magistrate in a European nation, which he describes as a NATO nation with a solidly pro-American orientation which supported U.S. engagement in Iraq with its own soldiers. The magistrate makes clear that he is already assembling a case, and is focused on American policymakers. I read these remarks and they seemed very familiar to me. In the past two years, I have spoken with two investigating magistrates in two different European nations, both pro-Iraq war NATO allies. Both were assembling war crimes charges against a small group of Bush administration officials. “You can rest assured that no charges will be brought before January 20, 2009,” one told me. And after that? “It depends. We don’t expect extradition. But if one of the targets lands on our territory or on the territory of one of our cooperating jurisdictions, then we’ll be prepared to act.”

            Viewed in this light, the Bush Administration figures involved in the formation of torture policy face no immediate threat of prosecution for war crimes. But Colin Powell’s chief of staff, Colonel Larry Wilkerson, nails it: “Haynes, Feith, Yoo, Bybee, Gonzales and–at the apex–Addington, should never travel outside the U.S., except perhaps to Saudi Arabia and Israel. They broke the law; they violated their professional ethical code. In the future, some government may build the case necessary to prosecute them in a foreign court, or in an international court.” Augusto Pinochet made a trip to London, and his life was never the same afterwards.

            • bmaz says:

              Listen, if you want to deify the word of a blogger, even Horton, be my guest. But officials of an executive administration are not freaking Augusto Pinochet. And this just will not happen without the express consent of the United States, and that will not be given. I respect and admire Scott Horton a lot, and he is right that this could happen theoretically, but on the scale you contemplate, in a country of significance that will hold or extradite to the Hague, the chances are next to zero.

              • george7 says:

                Your reading of my comments and of Horton’s analysis is feverish and uncharitable. Why push them in the direction of hyperbole? To demonstrate your wonderful analytical prowess?

                Meanwhile, keep your eye on the CCR.

                • earlofhuntingdon says:

                  The fever, snark and hyperbole have another home. The issue is about power, and for the foreseeable future, the US will have enough of it to protect its politicians from even their most heinous behavior.

                  Practically speaking, only peripheral actors, if anyone, will be in any peril. Past President’s travel with their SS cohort. After the first six or twelve months, when he will have a taxpayer-funded SS bubble in which to travel, Cheney will have an even larger cohort of Blackwater Boyz ensuring that his hotel suite is furnished with seltzer water, that his television is turned to Fox Noise, and that he can safely rest his leer on his pillow whenever he chooses.

                • bmaz says:

                  I could argue the converse, but it serves no purpose. My “analytical prowess” is not wonderful, it sucks if you ask me. But it is what it is and will have to stand or fail thusly. Quite frankly, I stopped taking myself too seriously long ago. But I hold few sacred cows either, if Marcy or anybody else had proffered the same statement as to likelihood of foreign detention and remand of US officials for war crimes trials, I would have had the same exact same response. I don’t buy it, it is contrary to reservations in numerous treaties and obligations the US has with foreign countries, and no administration is going to sign off on it. But I have no quarrel with you, nor reason and desire to engage in the escalation of rhetoric you proffer. Peace.

                • KenMuldrew says:

                  Bmaz is taking the realist’s view. You would be hard pressed to find any non-US citizen living outside the US who wouldn’t tell you that Bmaz’s position was obviously correct. I don’t know what Horton was thinking when he wrote that article, but it was wishful in the extreme. Retribution against these bad actors will not be done by any state other than the US. Non-state retribution (e.g. terrorism) is obviously in play, but there will be no war crimes trials that aren’t sanctioned by the US. The idea really is quite ridiculous.

              • JTMinIA says:

                Although it might seem as if Berlusconi will always either be in power or only temporarily on the sidelines, I still see recent actions in the Italian courts as a possible precursor to something against the “actors” in the current US admin.

                Maybe this is due to my rosy specs, though.

                • bmaz says:

                  Maybe, but there is a difference between “rogue” agents (and that is how they have been characterized so far; arguably not fairly, but nevertheless) and formal government officials. I think for purposes of this discussion, that is a pretty significant distinction.

                  • JTMinIA says:

                    Agreed, but you have to start somewhere. If the current admin’s ability to avoid any prosecution were perfect, those agents in Italy would not have been indicted. That’s why my rosy specs allow me (force me?) to see this as a positive opening.

                    Of course, that was during a Berlusconi Interregnum.

                    • bmaz says:

                      I am with you on the hope. I have mixed thoughts on the agents; as lame as they were, it is their superiors that ought to be in the dock.

              • george7 says:

                Thanks for this reply. I think that anyone who reads Philippe Sands and Scott Horton carefully will see that they do not take the unreasonable stands that some have ascribed to them in this thread. Life will be made unpleasant for certain putative war criminals well after this administration is history. No one has held out any expectation that they will actually end up in the Hague. Obviously that did not happen even for Pinochet. I can’t think that the real point is too subtle for most people to grasp. Peace.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            I agree. The UK and Spain asserted jurisdiction over Pinochet. But Chile is not the United States. At least for a while, the US has the biggest pile of chips on the table. In the diplomatic toing and froing necessarily involved in asserting personal jurisdiction over defendants and charging them with war crimes, the US retains the ability to persuade others not to take such action against its former Presidents, Vice Presidents and Cabinet members.

            France, for example, tossed out an attempt to assert jurisdiction over Rumsfeld not long ago. See, also, the US’ recent success in persuading UK banks to refuse to do business with UK customers that do business with Cuba – imposing restrictions on behavior that is lawful under UK law. As Dick Cheney knows, in a toss up between power and the law, power wins every time.

            But that leverage is not foolproof. Small countries, in particular those whose trade is overwhelmingly with the EU, may dare to be the mouse that challenges the lion. I suspect few in Asia would do so; it’s not a precedent that China, the region’s superpower, would find agreeable.

            At a minimum, though, there may be several attempts at asserting jurisdiction and to haul these actors in front of criminal courts for war crimes. Even if unsuccessful, they would be burdensome and ugly for the defendants, the neocons and the GOP. Perhaps burdensome also for a Democratically-controlled White House and Congress that would be charged with defending its citizen’s right freely to travel abroad. (A fierce irony, given that it would have been a GOP administration’s unlawful conduct that led to that response; fiercely ironic, too, in that the US would be the first to interfere with their or any other citizen’s right freely to travel anywhere.)

            All in, if I were Dick or George or Condi or Don, I’d be leery about accepting that free European vacation or a board membership on a board that frequently meets in London, Paris, Rome or Amsterdam. They might also bear in mind, as JFK frequently did, that what goes around comes around. Extraordinary rendition, for example.

            • bmaz says:

              Until Henry Kissinger stops walking and talking wherever and whenever he pleases I am not buying one bit of this. Sure, there are podunk unpredictable spots the Bushies might want to avoid, but they weren’t going there anyway.

        • bluesy says:

          Thanks for the info. I already had a good idea that Bush&Co. wouldn’t be doing many oversea trips.
          I seem to remember Kissinger having a close call in Germany some years ago. He had to be whisked out of the country. I need to dig into that.
          I would say “The Pinochet Factor” is spot on.

  8. drational says:

    The show trials were derailed (delayed for election purposes) a couple days ago by the chief judge agreeing to delay discovery and hold individual hearings:…..877/545270

    So now they need another way to use GTMO for elections. I don’t think this latest plan will provide the propaganda material hanging KSM would have…..

  9. cboldt says:

    the entire reason for Gitmo has now been invalidated. So why keep it open?

    The entire “legal fiction” reason, and avoidance of review by Courts has been invalidated. But there may be practical reasons to use it as a detention facility. If the legal process becomes sufficiently transparent and fair, I’m agnostic on keeping GTMO as a detention facility.

    • emptywheel says:

      Yeah, me too. KBR’s already been paid for the prison, after all, no need to replicate one in Kansas.

      THough as a practical point, so long as the detainees are in Gitmo, it makes it almost impossible to fairly represent them, because the lawyers are dependent on the military to ferry them to Gitmo. There have been a number of complaints about how the govt demands concessions from the defense attorneys once they get them down to Gitmo.

      • cboldt says:

        THough as a practical point, so long as the detainees are in Gitmo, it makes it almost impossible to fairly represent them, because the lawyers are dependent on the military to ferry them to Gitmo.

        I think that in principle, it’s possible to have fair representation. Clearly, in practice, the administration is not acting in good faith.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, Hanoi Hilton, Devil’s Island, the Black Hole of Calcutta. Names sometimes carry their connotation for corrupt and brutal treatment long after they are no more. That’s one reason it was politically ignorant to use Saddam’s palaces and prisons to house our own governors and prisoners. Effectively cleaning up Bush’s corruption of the legal and prison system necessitates finding a new home for his, soon-to-be our, prisoners.

      I agree that there’s no reason we can’t hang an “Under New Management” sign and use Gitmo and other facilities on an interim basis — with the caution that starting friction is always greater than moving friction. Congress needs to keep the reform ball rolling or it will plop hard into its ample lap and stay there.

    • perris says:

      cbolt, that is an excellant point, the fictional reason doesn’t work anymore for the administration but that fictional excuse was never why they needed the area in the first place

    • Leen says:

      I have often wondered why Obama has not just come out and said I will hold the Bush administration and telecoms accountable for crimes committed.

      “and it does not immunize any criminal conduct”.

      Ew, Christy/All. Dean seems to be saying that this legislation is not as radical or as dangerous as many have been stating. Confusing to say the least

    • JTMinIA says:

      All this cr*p about criminal liability (of the telecoms) is just Act I in the pardons-for-everyone kabuki. And that’s what, I’d guess, that Obama wants. He wants to be able to say (assuming that he becomes preznit) that his hands are tied. We must move on.

  10. drational says:

    I am not seeing the plan either.
    Although he is pissed about Boumedienne, McCain is not going to have a lot of time to revisit MCA.

    McCain has suggested Kansas (Ft. Leavenworth) for the detainees. Is the Bush push to keep GTMO to avoid having to piss off locals with a pre-election relocalization of the ”dangerous terrorists”.

  11. Blue Texan says:

    Lovely. Congress always thinks so clearly when Bush plays this trick.

    Reid-Pelosi announce Gitmo compromise: terror suspects to be executed on Bush’s birthday.

  12. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Harry and Nancy and Barack should Just.Say.No. Forcefully. They can look up what that means in Webster’s.

    I can understand why careful Farmer George wants to open the sluices on his pig farm’s overfull holding ponds and dump his waste into the Potomac before Election Day. But why should the Democrats volunteer to do it for him, much less accept the cost for cleaning up the Potomac? Surely, they realize that will make them liable for it all and allow George to take home the bacon for free?

    The Democrats should put off dealing with the politically-motivated last minute dumping of this administration’s excrement until next year, when more suitable waste disposal systems can be put together that won’t spew more filth into the environment than Bush has already put there.

    If Democratic spin-apprentices cannot make clear to a public eager to listen to them why that’s a good and smart and responsible thing to do, then they ought to STFU and find another line of work.

  13. JohnLopresti says:

    Bush going on a political offensive about gitmo has an effect of rallying around the flag once more, so there is a superficial strategem at work. Additionally, the president’s planners probably have heard the pollsters and analysts predicting a different composition for the next congress, meaning in a way Bush’s optimizing time for a gitmo outcome is the next 3+ months until the election.

    I think Fine’s FBi report was damning, as was the ADDYoo testimony recently before the House committee.

    The recent Boumediene opinion from Scotus, and even the yesterday alHaramain decision from D9, add to the view that the political seachange is underway even before the election, as people decide on a list of important factors guiding their balloting 3+ months hence. Adding to the Scotus and D9 pushbacks recently also was DCDC in re Parhat, and I think this is what decided Bush to elicit as much as politically feasible from disposal of the detainees sooner rather than later. Parhat did two things. It questioned the enemy combatant CSRT determination, but one key feature as well was its commentary on evidence rules at gitmo. Although Parhat’s background is Uighur and, so, fairly unique compared, say, to Qahtani, in the matter of tainted evidence, and even though DCDC’s opinion by Garland writing for the 3-judge panel remains partly redacted, it begins with passages like this:

    “A CSRT was held for Parhat on December 6, 2004. The proceedings consisted of an unclassified session, at which Parhat was present and answered questions under oath, followed by a classified session, at which Parhat was not present and in which the Tribunal considered classified documents not made available to him. The only evidence regarding the circumstances of Parhat’s background and capture was his own interviews and testimony.” at pages6-7. Link provided by MLederman’s article.

    Mariner of HRW has written as well re Parhat. WaPo and NYT became intrigued because Garland waxed urbane in his writing, citing Lewis Carroll fiction, q.v. Yet, to me, Garland’s review of standards of evidence is a key to a future appeal at Scotus, if the administration thinks it can find the requisite 5 justices to support some new kind of evidentiary rule for terrorists. It seems the Boumediene opinion renders that a moot question, though there may be a TX try, even for feint’s purposes.

    This is different from a quick adjudication one month after capture in the heat of battle. In 2008 three+ years have passed since that CSRT.

    The Boumediene precedent relying on international common law, in lieu of Geneva guarantees, and the Walker invective against state secrets, plus the Parhat dismissal of both status review as enemy combatant and tainted evidence to produce that CSRT outcome, in aggregate spell problems for all but the showTrials. Bush will get his ShowTrials, executions, and try to get congress involved in arranging disposition of detainees in ways that will keep the administration out of conflict with Scotus. It is still a tightrope for the administration.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      There’s no reason for a Democratic Congress to hold the end of Bush’s tightrope to make it easier for him to cross the abyss he and Dick have spent seven years digging. But I agree, this is not an administration that will declare victory, leave the field and return home to write its memoirs.

      Only this administration knows how far it’s bent and broken the rules, but it’s obvious it has gone so far that it can’t rely on momentum and the distraction of time for adequate protection. It also represents a movement that intends to extend and institutionalize its past lawbreaking the next time it controls Congress or the White House. It will happily spend years aggressively defending its actions and attacking its opponents in order to prepare for that next time. After all, the end of the world is nigh, and they have to prepare for that, too.

    • cboldt says:

      Yet, to me, Garland’s review of standards of evidence [in Parhat] is a key to a future appeal at Scotus, if the administration thinks it can find the requisite 5 justices to support some new kind of evidentiary rule for terrorists.

      See too, Bismullah. Same evidentiary sufficiency issues come up in that case, and the DC Circuit has not been amused by the administration’s arguments and conduct.

  14. interlocutor says:

    The solution is clear: the prisoners must all be rendered, extraordinarily, to countries that will promise us not to torture them, or to black sites where they won’t have to worry their pretty little heads with matters of constitutional law. Perhaps then the prisoners (actually, “illegal enemy combatants”) will themselves state three or more times that they are fighting illegal wars against the US. With confessions like that, they could even be brought back into our justice system!

    • Blub says:

      alternatively, I’m sure somebody in shrubland will recommend that the concept of gitmo should simply be replicated somewhere not fettered by pesky sovereignty issues. Maybe Nauru needs an economy-booster.

  15. Blub says:

    The other thing that caught my eye on the ABC report above was the mention that shrub is on his way to G8. What does he plan to accomplish there, I wonder? Are the other G8 heads of government still inclined to talk to him or will he just skulk in a corner?

  16. TobyWollin says:

    Wasn’t one of the bases of putting detainees at Gitmo the whole issue(baseless, true, but I think I read someplace that this was the whole issue for Addington, et al.)of ‘they won’t have any rights to US courts if we put them in a place that is not US territory’? So, now that SCOTUS has said they DO have rights to access to US courts, there is no basis for keeping them at Gitmo.

  17. Mary says:

    My guess is that they will move detainees to facilities in Afghanistan. other than the very few against whom there are real charges they want to exploit for PR) This prevents moving the detainees to a US facility that will make the Republicans mad, and it takes away the GITMO jurisdictional tie to the US habeas petitions and by moving, divests the courts (unless some lawyers get in real quick and get orders preventing transfer outside the court’s jurisdiction fro their habeas claims).

    In Afghanistan, they will be able to keep things under wraps, out of court, and make problems disappear more easily. And that, in the end, is the most and best you can expect of anyone in our government right now.

    • yonodeler says:

      So it may be that just when a detainee languishing seemingly interminably in a Gitmo cell thinks things can’t get any worse, here come extraordinary renditioning.

    • cboldt says:

      My guess is that they will move detainees to facilities in Afghanistan. other than the very few against whom there are real charges they want to exploit for PR)


      The ones who are named in CSRT proceedings, now before the District Court in DC, won’t be shipped off. At least, I’ll be surprised if the administration attempts to moot the cases that way.

      • Hugh says:

        The ones who are named in CSRT proceedings, now before the District Court in DC, won’t be shipped off. At least, I’ll be surprised if the administration attempts to moot the cases that way.

        I agree. I think the main effect will be to keep prisoners now held elsewhere, say in Afghanistan, from going to Guantanamo.

  18. rwcole says:

    Whatever they are going to do- they have about six months to do it- and then they revert to being powerless observors like the rest of us.

  19. SnarkiChildOfLoki says:

    policy changes that will force Congress to come up with a solution–including where to imprison those detainees if GTMO does, in fact, shut its doors.

    I hear there’s a nice, isolated little spot down in Paraguay, that’s just perfect.

  20. wrensis says:

    It is all smoke and mirrors anyway since many suspected terrroists are now subjected to “extraordinary rendition” and stored in some foreign country. At this point GITMO is purely political. Except of course for those people who have been held there all these years without trial. Some of those detained were adolescents when they were captured.

  21. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I would also add that there is no statute of limitations on war crimes. Israel extraordinarily rendered a surprised Adolf Eichmann twenty years after the end of the Second World War. Pinochet’s peril also began about twenty years after his alleged crimes.

    In twenty years, globalized companies will be less dependent on or loyal to any single market. The US may have more debt, poverty and joblessness, lower domestic energy supplies and fewer natural resources. It may have sunk lower in world opinion than it has under Bush II. The US may then find it has fewer chips in its pile on the bargaining table, and be less willing to bet them. Not much for Donny Rumsfeld or Cheney and his ticker to worry about, probably. George and Condi? That’s another matter.

  22. dosido says:

    If we are discussing other venues to house the detainees from GITMO, it would have to be a jail vs. a prison, wouldn’t it? I mean, can we send accused people to prison before trial? Speaking hypothetically in the good old pre 9/11 world of US law, of course. Wouldn’t that rule out any prison as a place of detention?

  23. JohnLopresti says:

    Something like the Sara Taylor opo research adware approach would seem to be part of the profiling of communities of interest concept currently Mukasey and Mueller are rolling out, according to Lara Lakes Jordan of AP in a story yesterday. This is part of my futurist vision of what the degree of success of the 2001 disasters portended. Our system of government is adaptive. As suggested in the discussion of the anomalous Pinoch, the US dynamic is more legit, although the Church report might detract in punctilio from that depiction.

  24. Mary says:

    50 – I wouldn’t much, because that was the pattern of what they did with Padilla. Once a court was about to order his release, they moved him to a different jurisdiction. That’s why I think the lawyers in the habeas cases or challenging the CSRTs under the DTA better get cracking with some orders from the court to the Executive to NOT move them without permission of court. But I’m not a litigator so I may be not seeing the whole picture on that one or be a little naive.

    Re: Horton’s piece, I agree with bmaz that in the short run in particular nothing will come from this. But EOH has some points and as the US power continues to wane bc of all Bush years and their ripple effects, something might change.
    That’s a link to the very recent conviction of one of Pinochet’s men for the 1974 killing of Carlos Prats and his wife.

    A judge gave Manuel Contreras two consecutive life terms for the murder of retired army chief Carlos Prats and his wife in Buenos Aires in 1974.

    BTW – is it that there is no SOL for all war crimes, or more so that the war crimes that come most to mind involve murders?

    72 – far from the dock, didn’t the rocket scientist behind the whole operation get a promotion? Why would they be promoting someone who has international warrants outstanding?