Washington Post, December 21, 2010;
The Obama administration is preparing an executive order that would formalize indefinite detention without trial for some detainees at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, but allow those detainees and their lawyers to challenge the basis for continued incarceration, U.S. officials said.
Provisions in the defense authorization bill, which has passed the House and is before the Senate, would effectively ban the transfer of any detainee to the United States for any purpose. That rules out civilian trials for all Guantanamo detainees, including Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. His potential prosecution had remained possible even though the administration had balked in the face of political opposition to a trial in New York.
The defense bill, if it passes the Senate, would effectively force the administration to conduct only military commissions and at Guantanamo Bay, which would also have to remain open to house those held indefinitely. The bill would also create new requirements before the administration could repatriate or resettle detainees who were cleared for release by the interagency task force.
"If it passes, it is the final, decisive blow to the president's plan," said Tom Malinowski, head of the Washington office of Human Rights Watch. [President Obama said his administration would use criminal trials, reformed military commissions, transfers to other countries, releases and continued detention in pursuit of its commitment to close Guantanamo - that's potentially all out now]. Forget about the prisoners, you'll probably never see them again. And whatever happened to Manuel Noriega, George H.W. Bush's CIA collaborator?]..