LiveStream of announcement scheduled for: December 15, 2009 3:15 PM EST See below
U.S. to buy state prison in Thomson, Ill.
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has directed the federal government to buy the near-empty state prison in rural Thomson, Ill., to house federal inmates and up to 100 detainees from the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, officials said late Monday.
The official announcement is planned for Tuesday and follows weeks of consideration of the Thomson Correctional Center as a site for Guantanamo detainees.
The decision is part of a complicated plan for shutting down the controversial Guantanamo detention center, a lightning rod for anti-American sentiment around the world as a result of what critics say were detainee abuses there during the Bush administration.
Administration officials as well as Illinois Sen. Richard Durbin and Gov. Pat Quinn will make the official announcement on Tuesday at the White House. source:
December 15, 2009 3:15 PM EST
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Gitmo detainees will not be freed in US after prison
WASHINGTON (AP) — Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says Guantanamo Bay detainees brought into this country for trial will not be in the U.S. to stay.
Napolitano says a detainee tried in this country would be treated for immigration purposes as though he is at a U.S. border trying to get in – and he won’t get in whether he’s convicted, acquitted or completed a prison sentence.
Background piece from
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Holder defends decision to try accused 9/11 terrorists in New York
Washington (CNN) — Attorney General Eric Holder defended his decision Wednesday to try five suspected 9/11 terrorists in civilian court.
“We are at war, and we will use every instrument of national power — civilian, military, law enforcement, intelligence, diplomatic and others — to win,” he told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “We need not cower in the face of this enemy. Our institutions are strong.”
Holder announced last week that the suspected terrorists — including confessed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed — will be tried in civilian court in New York City.
Obama: 9/11 mastermind faces ‘the most exacting demands of justice’
WASHINGTON — Khalid Sheik Mohammed — the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks — and four co-defendants will be tried in federal court in New York instead of a military commission, a federal official said Friday morning.
At left a 2003 photo shows Khalid Sheikh Mohammed shortly after his capture during a raid in Pakistan. At right, a photo allegedly taken in July 2009 by the Red Cross.
The long-awaited decision, part of President Obama’s quest to close the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba,
is expected to be formally announced by the Justice Department later Friday. The federal official spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement was not yet official
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
The closely-held decision has been the subject of intense speculation, and comes on the same day that White House counsel Gregory B. Craig, a key manager of Obama’s Guantanamo Bay policy, is expected to announce his resignation.
Mohammed and the four alleged co-conspirators in the 9/11 plot had been facing capital charges in a military commission at Guantanamo Bay. The administration requested a series of suspensions in those proceedings while officials decided on the best forum for prosecution. But the government assured military judges that they would make a final determination by Nov. 16.
The decision will not affect the vast majority of the 215 detainees who remain at Guantanamo Bay, according to sources briefed on the matter.
A group of Guantanamo prisoners participate in early morning Islamic prayer in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2008.
Administration officials expect that up to 40 of the detainees will ultimately be tried in either federal court or military commissions. Approximately 90 others have been cleared for repatriation or resettlement in a third country, according to an administration official. And that leaves up to 75 individuals remaining at Guantanamo who could continue to be held under the laws of war because they are deemed too dangerous to release but cannot be prosecuted because of evidentiary issues and limits on the use of classified material.
The announcement Friday will end months of intense internal jockeying among federal prosecutors in New York and Virginia, and between military and federal prosecutors, for the right to prosecute the high-value detainees held at the military prison. Top among them is KSM, as Mohammed is widely known.
Holder will also announce that a major suspect in the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, will face justice before a military commission, as will a handful of other detainees to be identified at the same announcement, the official said.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder
It was not immediately clear where commission-bound detainees like al-Nashiri might be sent, but a military brig in South Carolina has been high on the list of considered sites.
Read more here:
White House counsel poised to give up post
Tenure marked by struggles over closing Guantanamo
TOKYO — White House Counsel Gregory B. Craig is expected to announce his departure as early as Friday, people familiar with the situation said, ending an embattled tenure in which he struggled to lead the closure of the U.S. military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Craig will be replaced by Bob Bauer, a prominent Democratic lawyer who is Obama’s personal attorney.
Posted by Audiegrl
A long-suppressed report by the Central Intelligence Agency’s inspector general to be released next week reveals that CIA interrogators staged mock executions as part of the agency’s post-9/11 program to detain and question terror suspects.
According to two sources—one who has read a draft of the paper and one who was briefed on it—the report describes how one detainee, suspected USS Cole bomber Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, was threatened with a gun and a power drill during the course of CIA interrogation. According to the sources, who like others quoted in this article asked not to be named while discussing sensitive information, Nashiri’s interrogators brandished the gun in an effort to convince him that he was going to be shot. Interrogators also turned on a power drill and held it near him. “The purpose was to scare him into giving [information] up,” said one of the sources. A federal law banning the use of torture expressly forbids threatening a detainee with “imminent death.”
Read the explosive article by Newsweek’s Mark Hosenball and Michael Isikoff here.
****Breaking News from The Rachel Maddow Show: As soon as Monday, the Obama Administration will be releasing the CIA report on Torture. Part of that report will cover the information that is included in the Newsweek post above.