As reported by the AP, Obama's advisers have been working behind the scenes on a proposal that would transfer hundreds of imprisoned terrorism suspects from Guantamano Bay to U.S. soil to face criminal trials. This is an indication that the President-Elect intends to make good on his promise to close the prison in Cuba, but may require that he create a controversial new court system to handle all of the inmates. While campaigning for President, Obama referred to Guantanamo as a "sad chapter in American history" and said that he believes the U.S. legal system would be able to handle the detainees currently being held in question.
Under the new plans being formulated, some prisoners would be released, while other would face prosecution is criminal courts. A third group of suspected terrorists, those whose cases involve highly classified information, would require that the Obama administration create a new court system specially designed to handle cases of this magnitude and sensitivity. This plan demonstrates a sharp difference in the beliefs of President Bush, who strongly opposes bringing prisoners to the United States. While John McCain also favored shutting down Guantanamo, he strongly opposed having suspects face criminal trials, suggesting that the military tribunals championed by the Bush administration could continue on U.S. soil.
The idea of a new court system could cause rifts within the President Elect's own Democratic party who may have a concern about establishing a completely new system of courts. Many Democrats saw the Bush military tribunals as a farce and support giving the detainees full constitutional rights. Though this idea may not be popular, most advisers and Democrats involved do not see many other options for Obama to shut down Guantanamo while ensuring that national security interests are protected and suspects constitutional and human rights are preserved.
What do you think? Should Guantanamo be closed? Do the suspected terrorist deserve a fair shake in our criminal justice system? Will the creation of a new court to handle suspected high-level terrorists be created as Obama would like?