Obama Restarts Guantanamo Trials

Administration ends 2-year military prosecution freeze
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 7, 2011 2:27 PM CST
Protestors in orange "Guantanamo" jumpsuits, from the group Witness Against Torture, take part in a demonstration outside FBI headquarters in Washington, Monday, Jan. 17, 2011.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

(Newser) – President Obama today reversed a two-year freeze on military prosecutions against Guantanamo Bay detainees, the AP reports. In an executive order, the president restarted the process of trying the high-risk detainees—the latest acknowledgment of the political difficulties of fulfilling his campaign promise to close the Cuban detention facility. Defense Secretary Robert Gates will also rescind his January 2009 ban on new prosecutions.

"I strongly believe that the American system of justice is a key part of our arsenal in the war against al-Qaeda and its affiliates, and we will continue to draw on all aspects of our justice system—including Article III (or civilian federal) courts—to ensure that our security and our values are strengthened," the president said in a statement.

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