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The Hamilton Spectator
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Saturday January 24, 2009
With the stroke of a pen, President Barack Obama scrapped many of the tools of the Bush administration's "war on terror," ordering the closing of Guantanamo's prisons and an end to brutal interrogations, and opening the way for the release of many detainees.

While powerfully symbolic and widely applauded, plans to eventually close Guantanamo present a host of challenges for Mr. Obama if he intends to bring dangerous suspects into the United States, including how to deliver justice and fair trials.

"The message we are sending around the world is the U.S. intends to prosecute the ongoing struggle against violence and terrorism, but we are going to do so consistent with our values," Mr. Obama said.

But the sweeping orders also left the new President some wiggle room, allowing, for instance, the indefinite imprisonment without charge or trial of some detainees - and a full year to make good on closing Guantanamo.

A panel of cabinet-rank officials will advise him on how to deal with "detainees that we cannot transfer to other countries, who would pose a serious danger to the United States, but we cannot try" because of problems related to the admissibility of evidence, Mr. Obama said.

The President was apparently referring to a handful of top al-Qaeda operatives who have been water boarded or otherwise subject to now-outlawed interrogation methods.

Rights groups, detainee lawyers and most foreign governments lauded the President's move. Source.

Closing Gitmo opens host of challenges
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