Advancing a Free Society

Detention Policy: The Executive Branch is a “They,” Not an “It”

Friday, February 18, 2011

As Bobby mentioned, I’m giving a keynote address at noon tomorrow at American University’s Washington College of Law on the question, “The Guantanamo Detainees, What Next?”  In that speech I will try, among other things, to assess the significance of these five statements from senior Obama administration officials in the last two days:

  • CIA Director Leon Panetta, yesterday: “We would probably move [Osama Bin Laden and his deputy, if captured] quickly into military jurisdiction at Bagram for questioning and then, eventually, move them probably to Guantanamo.”
  • White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, yesterday:  President Obama “remains committed to closing the prison at Guantánamo Bay, because, as our military commanders have made clear, it’s a national security priority to do so. . . . I’m not going speculate about what would happen if we were to capture Osama bin Laden.”

Continue reading Jack Goldsmith at Lawfare