President Obama Orders Prosecution To Seek Suspension Of Guantánamo Military Commissions

January 21, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org

NEW YORK – Late last night, President Barack Obama ordered the prosecution to seek a 120-day suspension of the ongoing Guantánamo military commissions.

The following can be attributed to Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union:

"On Day One, President Obama kept his promise to halt the unconstitutional military commissions by ordering the prosecution to seek a 120-day suspension. Had the proceedings continued, the Bush administration would have permanently tied his hands and stopped him from being able to fulfill a top level campaign promise. Within the next 120 days, we trust that the President's team will be studying and finalizing plans and a timeline for permanently closing Guantánamo, shuttering the military commissions and ensuring justice is served in the best of American traditions. President Obama's 'time out' comes at the perfect time in these shameful military commissions and shows he means business on Day One. President Obama has to restore an America we can be proud of again by once and for all shutting down Guantánamo and its shameful military commissions."

On Monday, the ACLU delivered to the Obama transition team its comprehensive plan to close Guantánamo and handle the remaining detainees. The plan was sent to White House Counsel Gregory Craig, Attorney General designate Eric Holder, Secretary of State designate Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, among others, to be considered alongside the Department of Defense proposal commissioned by Secretary Gates.

A copy of the ACLU's plan can be found online at: www.aclu.org/safefree/detention/38424leg20090121.html

The prosecution's motion requesting the suspension of commission proceedings can be found online at: www.aclu.org/safefree/detention/38422lgl20090120.html

More on the ACLU's work to close Guantánamo and the military commissions can be found online at: www.closegitmo.com

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