In one of its first actions, the Obama administration instructed military prosecutors late Tuesday to seek a 120-day suspension of legal proceedings involving detainees at the naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba — a clear break with the approach of the outgoing Bush administration.
The instruction came in a motion filed with a military court in the case of five defendants accused of organizing the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. The motion called for “a continuance of the proceedings” until May 20 so that “the newly inaugurated president and his administration [can] review the military commissions process, generally, and the cases currently pending before military commissions, specifically.”
The same motion was filed in another case scheduled to resume Wednesday, involving a Canadian detainee, and will be filed in all other pending matters.
Such a request may not be automatically granted by military judges, and not all defense attorneys may agree to such a suspension. But the move is a first step toward closing a detention facility and system of military trials that became a worldwide symbol of the Bush administration’s war on terrorism and its unyielding attitude toward foreign and domestic critics.
As I was researching my post for Real Clear World, I came across a headline in Argentina’s Clarín, Europe supports Obama’s decision suspending the Guantánamo trials, which had this photo:
Aside from the headline, Europe supports Obama’s decision suspending the Guantánamo trials, which was changed to “After Obama’s request, one Guantánamo trial suspended”, there is no evidence that Europe is rendering anything other than lip service. We’ll see if any of the EU countries offers to take in any of the Gitmo prisoners.