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Up Next at Guantánamo

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July 7, 2008

Could it be?

News spread late last week, just in time for Fourth of July barbecue discussions, that the White House is pondering how it will shutter Guantánamo, and what it will do with the remaining 265 detainees there.

Tomorrow, the Judge James Robertson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia might make the decision for them: Judge Robertson will hear arguments on whether to grant the motion brought by Salim Ahmed Hamdan’s attorneys to stay his trial at Gitmo, currently scheduled to begin on July 21. Robertson’s decision will invariably affect all 249 habeas claims that have been filed on behalf of detainees at Guantánamo. In addition:

A first order of business for the court is to determine whether to issue an injunction to stop the military tribunals at Guantánamo from proceeding.

The New York Times points out:

[C]ritics say an injunction barring one trial, particularly after the defeat for the administration’s detention policy last month in the Supreme Court, could effectively bring the entire war-crimes system to a halt.

Let’s hope so. It’d be about time this illegitimate sham of a “legal” system was stopped once and for all.

Meanwhile, the UK’s Telegraph reports that Guantánamo base commander Mark Leary has indicated that the military might transform the base into a “rapid reaction” base for marines to deploy to nearby trouble spots in the Caribbean, Central and Latin America.

When the base commander is thinking about what to do when detainees leave, and the Secretaries of State and Defense, not to mention a few other notables, have called for its closure, it’s time to close it. For real.

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