Refection(November 20, 2008):
WASHINGTON – A federal judge today ordered the release of five Algerian detainees who have been held at Guantánamo for nearly seven years without charges.
U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon also ruled that the government may continue to hold a sixth Algerian indefinitely. These cases are the first contested challenges to the indefinite detention of Guantánamo prisoners since the Supreme Court's landmark decision upholding the right of habeas corpus last June in Boumediene v Bush.
Reflection(May 20, 2009):
the United States can continue to hold some prisoners at Guantanamo Bay indefinitely without any charges. U.S. District Judge John Bates' opinion issued Tuesday night limited the Obama administration's definition of who can be held. But he said Congress in the days after Sept. 11, 2001 gave the president the authority to hold anyone involved in planning, aiding or carrying out the terrorist attacks. Bates' opinion comes amid increasing debate over whether President Barack Obama is going to release anyone from Guantanamo. Obama has promised to close the prison by January, but Senate Democrats say they will block the move until he comes up with a plan for the detainees. (Update: so far they have blocked any move).
Detainees need their day in court to either have charges against them dropped or that they be prosecuted as war criminals or whatever other law applies. To hold the forever, or until this "war" in Afghanistan or Iraq are over, is dreaming. This war on terror by by terrorists (operating in small bands or groups) is here forever. We will never win as long as one terrorist is willing to strap on a suicide vest and walk into a hotel or office or some high-value area and blow himself/herself up in the name of Allah. It ain't gonna happen. So, holding them forever, by some accounts, keeps them "off the streets and out of action?"
Imagine if we still had our POW's in North Vietnam being held as "war criminals" as the North called them this long — John McCain wouldn't be a Senator — he'd be just an old man in a cell in Hanoi.
We need resolution on this issue — now rather than later. It's a huge ugly nasty stain on our national honor.