Pentagon Warned: Prepare to Shut Gitmo

Dilemma is what to do with worst inmates
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2008 5:03 AM CST
A Guantanamo detainee looks for his sandals in the doorway of his cell after waking up for morning prayer at the detention facility at the US Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
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(Newser) – The Pentagon has been ordered by Defense Secretary Robert Gates to draw up plans to be prepared to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center soon after President-elect Obama takes office, reports the Voice of America. The immediate problem is what to do with prisoners who likely can't be convicted in civilian courts—particularly because evidence may have been obtained by torture—but are considered by Pentagon officials too dangerous to release.

"The president-elect has made it perfectly clear that he wishes to address this issue early on," said a Pentagon spokesman. "The secretary wants to be prepared to assist him in trying to figure out a solution to this thorny problem." Gates has said he believes a new law is needed to enable the government to bring the prisoners into the US.