President Barack Obama’s support for preventively detaining terrorism suspects undoubtedly surprised some of his longtime backers.…
But the possibility had been percolating for months. With his pledge in January to close the Guantanamo prison within a year, Obama set off a fierce, mostly under-the-radar debate among legal experts about whether it will be possible to meet the goal he announced yesterday: to build “a legitimate legal framework” for imprisoning terrorism suspects indefinitely.
The question affects more than Guantanamo. The fates of 169 detainees there remain undecided, according to Obama’s numbers yesterday, and administration officials have suggested that they will be unable to prosecute as many as 100. But the legal status of thousands more held by the United States in Afghanistan and elsewhere overseas also hangs in limbo, and any detention policy will have ongoing effects as the fight against al-Qaida continues.
Here are some of the key issues facing the architects of a new preventive detention system, or, as it’s sometimes called, a “national security court”… Source