Paul Craig Roberts on Iraq and Afghanistan Wars

Welcome to Gitmo North

(The closing of Gitmo is even less than a meaningless gesture if they are going to be treating the detainees just the same on U.S. soil; it becomes the first step in the Gitmozation of the entire US prison system. Not only that, but the Obama administration is arguing that they won’t allow trials unless they know before hand that they will win the trial, which makes them “show trials” not justice. Some of these people will have no trials and some won’t even be officially charged with a crime and detained indefinitely, right on U.S. soil.)

by Glen Greenwald, Salon

The Obama administration announced today that it will create a new “supermax” facility in Thomson, Illinois, and will transfer to it many of the detainees currently held at Guantanamo.  Critically, none of those moved to Thompson will receive a trial in a real American court, and some will not be charged with any crime at all.  The detainees who will be given trials won’t go to Thomson; they’ll be moved directly to the jurisdiction where they’ll be tried.  The ones moved to Thomson will either (a) be put before a military commission or (b) held indefinitely without charges of any kind.  In other words, they’ll have exactly the same rights — or lack thereof — as they have now at Guantanamo.

William Lynn, Obama’s Deputy Defense Secretary, sent a letter today (.pdf) to GOP Rep. Mark Kirk of Illinois, answering multiple questions Kirk had posed, and made clear that all Thomson detainees will either have military commissions or indefinite detention without charges; none will get real trials (click images to enlarge):

The administration has already announced that it will rely on the Bush/Cheney theory to justify its indefinite detention power — that Congress implicitly authorized that when it enacted the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force.  But because Congress has banned the transfer of any Guantanamo detainees to the U.S. for any reason other than to be tried in a court, the administration will now seek express legal authority to transfer detainees inside the U.S. to hold them without charges indefinitely. Former White House Counsel Greg Craig said back in February that it’s “hard to imagine Barack Obama as the first President of the United States to introduce a preventive-detention law.”  One no longer needs to “imagine” it; it’s soon to come.

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