Closing Gitmo Will Be Tough

Detainees should be tried or released, but dangerous ones worry Obama, lawyers
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 22, 2009 1:16 PM CST
A guard leans on a fencepost as a Guantanamo detainee, left, jogs inside the exercise yard at Camp 5 detention center on the US Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, yesterday.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama’s pledge to close Guantanamo Bay has been widely hailed, but it’s not going to be easy, the Christian Science Monitor reports. There’s broad agreement that many detainees can be tried in federal or military courts, while others can be released. But some are deemed too dangerous to release, but can’t be tried because the prosecution would rely on evidence obtained under torture.

“Everybody is trying to make policy and determine issues out of a half dozen absolutely disgusting aberrations,” said one law professor. Many are urging a charge-or-release policy. But “I think there is going to be some discomfort level with simply releasing Khalid Sheikh Mohammed,” one expert said of the admitted 9/11 mastermind, who’s been subjected to waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques.