Detainees, Once Acquitted, May Still Die at Gitmo

Like Bush, Obama administration argues for indefinite detention
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2009 6:18 AM CDT
A courtroom drawing of the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, third from left, in Camp Justice on the US Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.    (AP Photo/Janet Hamlin,Pool)
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(Newser) – Detainees held at Guantanamo Bay and other military prisons may not be freed even if a US commission acquits them of all charges, an Obama administration official testified yesterday. The Defense Department rep told a Senate committee that detainees would be assessed on an individual basis and that prisoners might receive "some form of periodic review," reports the Wall Street Journal.

As with the Bush administration, Obama's team insists that laws of war allow the US to detain foreigners in perpetuity and to try them in military commissions rather than civilian courts. Sen. Lindsey Graham, a leading Republican, said he agreed that even if detainees were found not guilty of all charges, "some of them may in fact die in jail." But one Democrat warned that military commissions "aren't a fair trial, that's a show trial."