October 5, 2008

Critics: U.S. Gov’t Delays on Gitmo Suits

Legal moves by U.S. attorneys concerning Guantanamo detainees indicate it's unlikely the camp will ever be closed by the Bush administration, critics say.

Despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling granting rights to the terrorism suspects held at the Cuban military prison and statements by Bush administration officials that they'd like to close Guantanamo, the U.S. Justice Department is continuing to file numerous and time-consuming legal challenges against attempts to provide legal help for the detainees, The New York Times reported Sunday.

As detainees' attorneys have pressed ahead with habeas corpus lawsuits in accordance with the June high court ruling, U.S. attorneys are continuing to argue over such issues as whether court sessions will be secret and if detainees can attend, the newspaper said.

"The legal issues that are being raised by the administration are going to take longer than the remaining time of the administration" to resolve, Vijay Padmanabhan of Cardozo Law School, told the Times. "It is part of a broader strategy, which is not to make difficult decisions about Guantanamo and leave it to the next president."

U.S. officials, however, say the cases are moving along quickly considering they are unprecedented.