Obama Approves Life Imprisonment without Trial for Guantánamo Prisoners

Wednesday, March 09, 2011
(graphic: Bob Boldt, Chico Peace and Justice Center)
On March 7, President Barack Obama signed an executive order permitting the indefinite detention without trial of prisoners being held at the U.S. military installation at Guantánamo Bay.
The order will be applied to 47 prisoners at Guantánamo, out of the 172 being held there. Another 36 are due to be tried before a military commission, while the remaining 89 have been cleared for eventual release. Those who may spend the rest of their lives in custody without trial are considered too dangerous to let go. However, the legal cases against them are fraught with “evidentiary problems,” which in many instances means the evidence the U.S. has was obtained through the use of torture and could be thrown out in court.
Under Obama’s policy, detainees will be able to submit documentary evidence every six months about their innocence, but their cases will only be reviewed every three years.
Andrea Prasow, senior counterterrorism counsel at Human Rights Watch, noted that, “Signing an executive order does not suddenly make it legal to lock people up and hold them forever without proving they have committed a crime.”
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
Obama Creates Indefinite Detention System for Prisoners at Guantanamo Bay (by Peter Finn and Anne E. Kornblut, Washington Post)


eclectikone 12 years ago
they have totally went against all we believe in. you cant illegally kill an animal but you can torture a human being to no end and lock him up forever if you feal that what he did was worth that form of punishment. and just because they think they may have did something wrong thats crazy as heck. thats not america and we are turning into one of these third world countries that we down so much for not being justified and with dignity as us. i dont know if i missed it but where in that were we the people because i believe the majority of america would disagree with that kind of unfairness.every day we push forward we are losing the freedom our solders stand for and tht is bull
MadeleineT 12 years ago
i don't know what is going on in this country but you just can't do this, we have a constitution that is supposed ot be upheld, it may not include prisoners but in all good conscience we can't jus ttake soemone who may be a shop[ keeper and put him in jail for life without a trial. i would rather see them all go free than have that kind of law. wher eis the aclu on this? oibama is not eligible to be president, everyone know s that, his signature is worth nothing once that is brought oto light, everything he has ever signed will be null and void.
Bob Boldt 13 years ago
I was hoping that voting for Obama would obviate my cartoon that you included in this announcement. Guantanamo will be a stain on our history (in the dubious likelihood that any idea of history survives the next 50 years) equal in infamy, if not in scale, to the systematic genocide of the native American tribes. Even the small number of “the worst of the worst” detained there have been so violated that justice is impossible. Our government (Bush of course and certainly even Obama) has screwed up things so much that only their captors and their jailers (Bush and Obama included) should be the ones standing trial and serving long sentences. Speaking of “the worst of the worst,” Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was allegedly waterboarded 183 times in one month alone! “Waterboarded.” Does anyone who has not been waterboarded have any idea of the enormity of this form of torture? Rumsfeld, I believe at one point, equated it with a fraternity prank. Would his pea-sized, reptilian brain frame such stupid statements if he actually had the experience first hand? No? The government screwed up big time. We have only two choices when it comes to “justice” for people like the mastermind behind 9/11 and all the prisoners in Guantanamo: 1] we will illegally try them and eternally cement in the minds of the civilized world the image of the United States of America as an illegal, rogue, terrorist state, or 2] let them all go free with our apologies. There is no other course. Which way do you think our president will roll on this one?
MK Ultra 13 years ago
Aaaaah, Obama, the constitutional law professor. Our beloved Nobel Peace Prize laureate. How proud we are of thee!
matt johnstone 13 years ago
“Signing an executive order does not suddenly make it legal to lock people up and hold them forever without proving they have committed a crime.” What does it do then?

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