Obama endorses military commissions for Guantánamo detainees


Warren Richey
The Christian Science Monitor
October 29, 2009

[efoods]In signing the National Defense Authorization Act on Wednesday, President Obama has personally endorsed yet another attempt by the US government to conduct military-commission trials of terror suspects currently held at the Guantánamo detention camp.

Similar efforts have stalled with legal challenges and Supreme Court decisions. But supporters say that the Military Commissions Act of 2009 balances the demands of fairness and due process against a real-world need for flexibility when seeking to prosecute accused Al Qaeda leaders and supporters.

Critics say that the 2009 act is an improvement over prior versions of military-commission regimes passed during the Bush administration. But they say it is still substandard, offering a second-class system of justice designed to obtain quick convictions.

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