March 8, 2011 10:59 pm

President Obama Issues Executive Order Institutionalizing Indefinite Detention

On March 7, 2011, President Obama issued an executive order that permits ongoing indefinite detention of Guantánamo detainees while establishing a periodic administrative review process for them. The administration also announced it will lift the ban on bringing new military commissions charges against detainees that don’t already have ongoing cases in the substandard system.

The American Civil Liberties Union has long called for Guantánamo to be shut down and opposes the indefinite detention of prisoners there, some of whom have been imprisoned by the U.S. without charge or trial for nine years. The ACLU has also long called for an end to the illegitimate military commissions and for the government to prosecute terrorism suspects in the federal criminal courts.

The following can be attributed to Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU:

“The best way to get America out of the Guantánamo morass is to use the most effective and reliable tool we have: our criminal justice system. Instead, the Obama administration has done just the opposite and chosen to institutionalize unlawful indefinite detention – creating a troubling ‘new normal’ – and to revive the illegitimate Guantánamo military commissions.”

Read the full press release.