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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We knew it was coming, and today he signed the Executive Order closing Guantanamo Bay and suspending all military tribunals.

http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSN21485084

While I can understand the necessity to close the prison, it would have been nice if he'd had a plan in mind before doing so. Now what do we do with the prisoners?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, it appears the news I was watching jumped the gun. No EO today, but it certainly is a top priority for the new prez.

There are a lot of legal issues concerning the closing and what will be done with the detainees. From what I've been reading, it appears that the countries of origin of most of the detainees do not want them back.

Our courts are not prepared to hear these cases, nor do they have the proper authority. Even SCOTUS appears perplexed as to how to handle them. Guantanamo serves a very real purpose that has nothing to do with torture. We cannot label these detainees as POW's per the Geneva Conventions, yet we can't and shouldn't let them go. The best suggestion I've heard from associates in national security law, is that we need to form a new court system specifically to deal with issues pertaining to the war. One that is part civilian, part military; with rules that can address the security issues inherent in such trials. As much as Obama wants to close down the camp, it's going to take a long time to come to a conclusion as to what will be done in Guantanamo's stead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
As you may be aware, there have already been extensive consultations with other countries (mostly of the Global North) as for an asylum for these ex-gulag prisoners, especially for those victimized who cannot return to their home countries. I understand that several countries already have pledged their support in this respect to the new USA, and their willingness to receive some of the detainees.
Yes, I believe Switzerland is one of a handful of countries willing to take the detainees, and keep them as prisoners.

This assumption of non-correlation is not correct. Neither for Guantanamo, nor for the Gulag, nor for the KL-System. Nobody has called the former "irreal" anyhow, as your formulation could imply; for all these indeed served a "very real purpose" - a despicable and reprehensible one. :-(

Carcano
I do not agree with the comparison to the Gulag, but I can see how you would interpret Guantanamo as such. It is because of this view that it has been suggested to form a new court of military/civilian origin, with civilian oversight. But the fact remains that the US has no facility or state willing or able to house detainees who pose the level of threat to our national security as detainees captured in this war.

Guantanamo serves the purpose of a 'POW' camp in a war where POW's (aside from Allied Forces) do not exist. As Mauserboy pointed out, the President can assign the term of 'combatant' to any detainee. If I recall correctly, this was due to a signing statement of Bush, one that Obama will most certainly ignore and probably repeal. The fact remains that these detainees deserve habeas and a trial, but our court system is not equipped to handle such cases. Nor is our penal system. The closest courts we have that are suited to such a task are courts martial and military tribunals, the latter of which have been suspended, regardless of the fact that SCOTUS was the court that recommended using military tribunals.

What is needed is the formation of this new court, and a serious revisit to the Geneva Conventions (which lacks the ability to address many of the issues associated with the new kind of war).
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Look at it this way. He just dealt a crushing blow to Cubas economy. Castro has decried the base and demanded we leave for decades but....not really.
It does little to Cuba's economy. Cuba has refused our rent for quite a while, however they insist on retaining sovereignty over Guantanamo, something our judicial system likes to ignore; it is because of SCOTUS' claim of federal jurisdiction that the DC courts continue to take these cases only to have SCOTUS overturn their decisions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
It's official now. Gitmo to close in one year, torture outlawed, and a back door created to figure out how to implement it.
 
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