Obama Signs Orders Closing GITMO

President Obama signed executive orders this morning reversing Bush administration detainee interrogation practices and requiring the prison at Guantanamo Bay to be closed one year from now.

As expected, Obama ordered a review process for Guantanamo detainees, with the goal of releasing, transferring to other nations, or prosecuting the 245 detainees currently held at the facility. Obama largely left the question of how to prosecute detainees unanswered, though recommended that federal courts or regular military courts would be preferable. Military tribunals with revised authority could also be used.

The CIA will also close its network of secret prisons under Obama's order. Obama prohibited the agency from operating detention facilities in the future.

The president effectively banned torture, requiring the military and CIA to adhere to the Army Field Manual, abide by the Geneva Convention, and allow the Red Cross access to detainees. He also sweepingly nullified all memos and legal opinions on interrogation from the Bush Justice Department issued after Sept. 11, 2001, some of which caused outcry among opponents of torture when they were uncovered.

Obama also created a task force on future interrogation policy, comprised of Cabinet-level security officials, leaving the door open for harsher interrogation tactics to be used by the CIA.

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