Obama Task Force To Delay Report On Detainee Policy

July 20, 2009 12:00 am

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Guantánamo Must Be Closed And Detainees Tried In Federal Court, ACLU Says

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NEW YORK – According to news reports today, an Obama administration task force charged with developing a plan to close the U.S. detention facility at Guantánamo Bay will not issue its recommendations on detainee policy tomorrow as previously scheduled. The news reports, which suggest the task force will delay its report outlining detention plans for Guantánamo detainees until the fall, state that task force members agree that the Obama administration should continue to claim the right to hold some Guantánamo detainees indefinitely without charge or trial.

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

“The Obama administration must not slip into the same legal swamp that engulfed the Bush administration with its failed Guantánamo policies. Any effort to revamp the failed Guantánamo military commissions or enact a law to give any president the power to hold individuals indefinitely and without charge or trial is sure to be challenged in court and it will take years before justice is served. The only way to make good on President Obama’s promise to shut down Guantánamo and end the military commissions is to charge and try the detainees in established federal criminal courts. Any effort to do otherwise will doom the Obama administration to lengthy litigation. A promise deferred could soon become a promise broken.”

The news reports also say that a second report on interrogation slated to be issued this week is being delayed as well.

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