May 6, 2009

Senators McCain & Graham on what to do with Gitmo

Posted: 09:44 AM ET

By U.S. Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham/Wall Street Journal

When President Barack Obama declassified and released legal memoranda from the Department of Justice, he opened the door to a drawn-out battle over the Bush administration's use of coercive interrogation techniques on suspected terrorists. We believe that any subsequent attempts to subject those who provided such legal advice to prosecutions are a mistake. They will have a chilling effect on the candor with which future government officials provide their best counsel.

The country must move on from debates about the past, because pressing questions about U.S. detention policy in the war on terror requires us to make difficult choices - and to make them soon.

In January, the president announced via executive order that the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay will close within a year. The announcement was easy - but it left unanswered the hardest questions about detainee policy for the future.


Filed under: Guantanamo Bay

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Ted   May 6th, 2009 10:19 am ET

At the end of the WWII all members of the Gestapo, SS and other members of that killing machine had one general excuse and said unisolo: "we were only following orders or the laws"! We still hanged several hundred of them, so did the Russians.
Presidents Obama´s decision not to prosecute those who provided the legal ground for all those hideous crimes commited by the CIA or our Armed Forces, "because they were following the given orders of the time", is inexcusable!! So did the Nazis!!
We should investigate and punish those who acted against the laws of a democracy and humanity. The world is watching and we may lose again all the respect if we do not follow up on the promise Mr. Obama repeatedly said: we will close all torture camps, release or charge the occupants in a civil court where our laws will be obeyed and punish those who put themselves above the law.

debbie   May 6th, 2009 11:03 am ET

McCain back at whatever the President does it is wrong, how typical of him. Looking back to whatever happened on Bush's watch is only wrong if it serves the Republican party but if the President refers to the past 8 years , he is slander for it. Anyone who participated in war crimes or gave orders should be punished. The Republicans are just defending Bush and Chaney. If we were attacked on Obama's watch could you imagine the field day Republicans would have and if President Obama called for torture , he would be burned at the stake by Republicans but because it was the Bush era , the Republicans do not want anyone accountable for torture.

Michael C. McHugh   May 6th, 2009 11:57 am ET

If you have evidence then put them on trial, whether in the regular federal courts,a special terrorism court or courts martial. If you have evidence that can't be produced for some reason or was obtained through nasty methods, then it's just the same as having no evidnce at all. Not even military courts can accept evidence that can't be produced in court.

Overall, they would have probably done better just to classify most of these as POWs than to keep letting this situtaion fester year after year. I think some of those Bush era folks have left these things so tied up in legal knots that are impossible to untangle.

Michael C. McHugh   May 6th, 2009 12:04 pm ET

And a defense lawyer worth anything can easily get evidence thrown out if it was produced under coercion, and it's impossible to have a real trial without a defense. Even the Nazis at Nuremberg had that right, so where does that leave us?

Dave of Detroit   May 6th, 2009 5:53 pm ET

Well, O'Reilly pointed out that as enemies of the State, they could be shot. Cheney has problems with closing GITMO due to a probable Contract that Halliburton has with the Base and the Interrogation Team that managed to drown 16 of them could continue to waterboard them. Personally, I like the "Persona not Grata" label and drop them off over Afghanistan somewhere and post their faces on every web site in the Freeworld....Either try them or deport them!

Annette of Colorado   May 6th, 2009 9:57 pm ET

Are you for real? How should we handle those who cannot be tried, you ask! If they can't be tried, why are we holding them? If these people are guilty, why haven't they been prosecuted, sentenced, and jailed? Some may be guilty but a veil of doubt surrounds Gitmo because of the disgraceful actions of the Bush administration.

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