March 7th, 2011
03:40 PM ET
By: CNN Wire Staff
(CNN) – President Barack Obama said Monday that the United States will resume using military commissions to prosecute alleged terrorists held at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility.
The announcement said the Obama administration remains committed to closing the controversial detention facility, but will rescind its previous suspension on bringing new charges before military commissions.
The commissions are military proceedings rather than trials in civilian courts.
Obama previously pledged to close the Guantanamo Bay facility within a year of taking office in January 2009. However, it remains open today due to legal complexities involving the status of some detainees and congressional opposition to holding trials for high-profile suspects in U.S. criminal courts.
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January 7th, 2011
06:22 PM ET
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama signed a defense spending bill into law Friday, and said he would work to repeal provisions making it harder to close the prison.
H.R. 6523, which authorizes the funding for all military activities of the United States for fiscal year 2011, includes a provision that bars the use of funds, authorized by the law, for use in the transfer of detainees from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay into the United States. In a written statement after signing the bill into law, Obama called the provision “a dangerous and unprecedented challenge to critical executive branch authority to determine when and where to prosecute Guantanamo detainees, based on the facts and the circumstances of each case and our national security interests.”
Obama said the option to try terrorists in federal court was necessary to preserve, and any attempt to take it away “undermines our Nation’s counterterrorism efforts and has the potential to harm our national security.”
December 26th, 2010
01:58 PM ET
(CNN) – A year has passed since the Obama administration said the Guantanamo Bay military prison would close, but White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Sunday that the facility won't go away in the near future.
In an interview on CNN's "State of the Union," Gibbs said that even though the site is a recruiting tool for Islamic terrorists, legal and legislative issues have contributed to the delay in its closing.
"It's certainly not going to close in the next month. I think it's going to be a while before that prison closes," Gibbs told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. "I think part of this depends on the Republicans' willingness to work with the administration on this."
Check out the complete story on CNN's Political Ticker.