Having decided to close the detention complex at Guantanamo, the administration now faces the important question of what to do with detainees too dangerous to release and against whom no legal case can be made, either for exigencies of the battlefield – combat troops don’t Mirandize their prisoners – or national security reasons:
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates suggested on Thursday that as many as 100 detainees at the prison at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba would end up held without trial on American soil, a scenario he acknowledged would create widespread if not unanimous opposition in Congress.
The estimate from Mr. Gates was the most specific yet from the Obama administration about how many of the 241 prisoners now at Guantanamo could not be safely released, sent to other countries or appropriately tried in American courts. In January President Obama ordered the prison closed by the end of year, but his administration is still working on what to do with the detainees…
At a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Mr. Gates said that he has asked for $50 million in a supplemental request to this year’s Pentagon budget in case a new cell block needs to be built quickly for the detainees. But he acknowledged that the idea of relocating Guantanamo detainees to American soil has few champions in Congress.
“I fully expect to have 535 pieces of legislation before this is over saying ‘not in my district, not in my state,’ “ Mr. Gates said. “We’ll just have to deal with that when the time comes.”
Suck it up, states. This makes us look good in Paris.