Monday, November 16, 2009

Guantanamo Detainees Could Be Freed On American Soil

When it comes to keeping Guantanamo inmates locked up indefinitely in the United States, the problem really isn’t the jails, some lawyers say—it’s the judges and the law.

While some Americans fear that Guantanamo prisoners brought to U.S. prisons might break out, a far more likely possibility is that some of the terror suspects will simply walk out at some point in the future on the order of a federal judge.

On Friday, Attorney General Eric Holder announced plans to bring five men from Gitmo to New York to face trial in a civilian court for allegedly plotting the Sept. 11 attacks. The Justice Department is likely to transfer several dozen inmates to the U.S. later for open-ended detention, and dozens more could join them if the U.S. can’t find another country to accept them.

Critics are warning that prosecutions are inherently unpredictable and that bringing prisoners onto U.S. soil dramatically improves their chances of being released here some day.