Military Commissions to Resume at Guantanamo

Monday, March 07, 2011

President Barack Obama — who promised to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay — has now signed an executive order to allow military commissions to resume there.

On a fact sheet released Monday, the White House noted "key reforms" made by the administration, including "a ban on the use of statements taken as a result of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and a better system for handling classified information" during those military commissions. The White House also reaffirmed commitment to eventually closing the detention facility.

Obama also said civilian trials of suspects would continue.

"I strongly believe that the American system of justice is a key part of our arsenal in the war against al Qaeda and its affiliates, and we will continue to draw on all aspects of our justice system — including the Article III courts — to ensure that our security and our values are strengthened," Obama said in a statement.

The first civilian trial of a Guantanamo detainee — that of Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani — took place in New York. He was acquitted of all but one charge against him in connection with the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa.

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