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New Administration Must Confront Dilemma at Guantanamo


At the top of the next president's to-do list surely sits confronting the challenges presented by the US prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. While the secretive detention center has been a poster child for the curtailment of basic rights by the US since the War on Terror began, many Guantanamo detainees present severe threats to global security.

A review of military tribunal files reveals that a good amount of the 255 detainees have significant terrorism credentials, such as connections to al Qaeda leaders, assassination experience, and training in the use of poison and disguises.

Both John McCain and Barack Obama say they will close Guantanamo Bay. Whether it stays open or closed, the new leader must find a way to avoid atrocities, such as holding journalist Sami al-Hajj for six years without a single charge at Guantanamo, while also taking seriously the concerns of intelligence agencies. Hopefully, the next administration will use all the tools of an upright criminal justice system to prosecute terrorists.

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