Obama: Guantanamo policies must accord with due process, international law

[JURIST] US President Barack Obama [official profile] reiterated his position that US policies governing the detention and interrogation of Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainees should comport with due process and international law requirements in a Sunday interview [CBS interview transcript] with 60 Minutes. Obama said that polices of the former Bush administration, which gave less deference to these norms, did not effectively help the US bring terrorists to justice but instead generated anti-American sentiment abroad. He said that terrorism suspects would still have to be treated seriously, that they were specifically not due Miranda rights [LII backgrounder], and that the country could not release individuals who still post a threat to the US. Obama said that despite these concerns, he believed detainees' treatment could effectively be governed under existing US and international regimes.

Obama's remarks came in response to earlier criticism [CNN report] by former vice president Dick Cheney [BBC profile] of Obama's call to close Guantanamo by 2010. In January, Obama issued an executive order [text; JURIST report] freezing the military commission [DOD materials; JURIST news archive] system, calling for the review of US judicial policy towards the detainees, and directing the closure of Guantanamo within one year. The Department of Justice has also more recently eliminated [JURIST report] the use of the term "enemy combatant" in a symbolic departure from Bush administration policies.



 

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