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How to Close Guantanamo - ASK THE EXPERT - CAP's Gude President George W. Bush is fond of saying that his administration tackles challenges head-on and refuses to leave tough decisions to his successors. No description could be further from the truth when applied to his policy at Guant?namo. Regardless of what happens over these last months of the Bush administration, the next president will inherit a detainee policy in total disarray. Transfers out of Guant?namo have stalled; the easier cases have already been shipped out, leaving a population stabilizing at around 270 detainees. Trials of Guant?namo detainees in Military Commissions are sputtering as the unproven system struggles to get through simple procedural hearings. Future prosecutions have been thrown into doubt as charges were dropped against a detainee once thought to be the "20th hijacker" on 9/11 because too much of the evidence against him was obtained through torture. In its third successive decision rebuking the Bush administration's detention policies, the Supreme Court recently ruled that the Guant?namo detainees have a constitutional right to habeas corpus. This decision will finally allow the detainees to contest the lawfulness of their confinement in a truly impartial hearing before a federal judge, rejecting the Bush administration's contention that Guant?namo existed outside the law. And beyond the prison's walls on the eastern tip of Cuba, serious problems have arisen in Afghanistan as both U.S.- and Afghan-run detention camps are replicating the worst excesses of Guant?namo. One critical conceptual error of the architects of Guant?namo within the Bush administration—an exclusive focus on the threat posed by the detainees themselves—has frustrated the efforts of senior officials like Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to overcome the prison's deficiencies. This myopic vision has completely discounted the strategic impact Guant?namo has had on the global security environment. In the Bush ...
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