President Barack Obama on Monday announced the lifting of a 25-month stay on new military trials at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba prison camp, effectively repudiating his post-inauguration pledge to close the infamous facility.
In a White House announcement, Obama said he had ordered the Defense Department to lift the order, issued on the first full day of his administration over two years ago, suspending the filing of new charges in the military commissions at the camp. Obama at the time presented the order as the first step in shutting the facility within a year.
Administration officials said new charges against some of the 172 detainees remaining at the prison would be filed within days or weeks.
Obama also signed an executive order establishing a process to hold some Guantanamo detainees indefinitely without charge or trial, a further assault on the principle of habeas corpus and step in the direction of a police state. The US government considers that some of those being held—having been seized in various places around the world and imprisoned for nearly a decade without any legal recourse—cannot be tried even by the drumhead military commissions because they have been tortured or held on the basis of “evidence” elicited through the torture of others.