Even though President Obama insists he still wants to close Guantanamo, he reportedly will soon sign an executive order that will allow 48 detainees to continue to be imprisoned indefinitely - although the process will be more "humane" than it has been - and less draconian than it would be if Congress set the policy.
The 48 prisoners apparently can't be tried in civil courts - or even military tribunals - because the evidence against them is so tainted (likely by torture) that it is inadmissible.
So, since the government doesn't think it can get a conviction, it will ignore the Constitution and just keep the prisoners locked up. But not to worry, believers in due process: the detainees will have lawyers to represent them to a kind of "parole board" that will make its decision not on issues of law, but based on whether it's "safe" to deport a prisoner to another country.
I don't think this is what Time's Joe Klein was talking about when he said that nothing happened in 2010. Truth is a lot of things didn't happen in 2010, and this was the worst. As the Daily News editorial notes, our policies in Gitmo are not only unconstitutional but wildly ineffective, giving Islamic extremists a totally unnecessary recruitment poster. Ironically, this comes on a day in which we learn that the U.S. House is planning to read aloud the U.S. Constitution in its entirety. It's an idea that's born of the Tea Party, and I think it's a very good idea -- I hope the reading is bipartisan. And that means they'll read this:
The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.
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