October 21, 2011
WASHINGTON (AFP) – The US Senate on Friday beat back a Republican measure forbidding civilian trials for non-American terrorism suspects, the latest skirmish of a 10-year battle over the fate of detainees.
Senators voted largely along party lines to defeat Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte’s proposal by a 47-52 margin in the face of stiff opposition to the legislation from US President Barack Obama.
Lawmakers have feuded over the best way to detain and prosecute suspected terrorists since the September 11, 2001 attacks, and fighting over the issue is sure to last through to the November 2012 elections.
Obama vowed upon entering office in January 2009 that he would close the notorious Guantanamo Bay prison for suspected terrorists, but Democrats and Republicans in Congress have blocked the move.
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