Thursday, May 14, 2009

Wire: Obama Reverses Position, Will Restart Bush Terror Tribunals

Off the Wire

Off the Wire:

WASHINGTON, May 14, 2009 -- Newswires reported this evening that President Barack Obama will restart Bush-era military tribunals for a number of Guantanamo detainees, reviving a trial system he once denounced, U.S. officials said Thursday.

Obama suspended the tribunals within hours of taking office in January.

Obama's decision to resume the tribunals is certain to face criticism from liberal supporters for yet another reversal of his earlier stands on terrorism and detainees.

The Associated Press reported that officials spoke about the military commission decision only on condition of anonymity, saying some of the details were not final.

An announcement was expected Friday.

An administration official familiar with Obama's decision said between 10 and 20 of the 241 detainees currently at the detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, would be tried by military commissions. Thirteen other detainees -- including five charged with helping orchestrate the Sept. 11 attacks -- already have been moved into the system and are expected to be tried there, AP said.

On Capitol Hill today, the House approved supplemental war-funding legislation that states detainees from Guantanamo must not be released on U.S. soil -- though it would allow some of the prisoners to be transferred to the United States to stand trial or serve their sentences.

A Senate committee today approved a companion bill that includes $50 million for the Pentagon to begin the closure of the detention facility.

(Report from newswire sources.)

Source: Obama to revive terror tribunals, with more rights

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