We touched briefly on this issue yesterday when reporting on the detainee case that may be heard by the Supreme Court. Now we have some interesting information from the Associated Press that Obama may indeed close Guantanamo and ship many of the suspects to the US for a trial by jury in regular federal courts.
According to AP, "some detainees would be released and many others would be prosecuted in U.S. criminal courts." And here's the real kicker; the Obama administration may create an entirely new system of justice to handle those terrorists who can only be convicted as a result of classified information:
Let's be clear here; despite the fact that there is a system already in place that gives prisoners most of the same rights granted American criminals, the Obama Administration apparently wants to reinvent the wheel and have some terrorists appear before a court "designed especially to handle sensitive national security cases."
A third group of detainees — the ones whose cases are most entangled in highly classified information — might have to go before a new court designed especially to handle sensitive national security cases, according to advisers and Democrats involved in the talks. Advisers participating directly in the planning spoke on condition of anonymity because the plans aren't final.
The move would be a sharp deviation from the Bush administration, which established military tribunals to prosecute detainees at the Navy base in Cuba and strongly opposes bringing prisoners to the United States. Obama's Republican challenger, John McCain, had also pledged to close Guantanamo. But McCain opposed criminal trials, saying the Bush administration's tribunals should continue on U.S. soil.
The American people might rightly ask why? McCain wanted to close down Guantanamo but keep the military tribunal system in place to try the terrorists on American soil. It appears to me that it isn't the kind of justice that the terrorists are getting - it is who will be dispensing it that bothers the liberals. And Obama wants to take it out of the hands of the military. I will bet that this "special court" the Obama administration is cooking up will look a lot like those tribunals anyway.
I certainly hope this isn't an indication of anti-military bias on the part of Obama and his advisors.