Difficult Decisions Delay Gitmo Closing

Bush administration officials are deeply divided on how to deal with 375 detainees if a decision is made to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Yesterday Associated Press reported that a decision to close the prison is near.

The Washington Post reports today that many issues still must be resolved. Among them are how to repatriate detainees approved for release, how to try another 80 or so detainees, and what to do with another 220 being held indefinitely.

The United States is working with dozens of countries to try to find places to accept repatriated detainees, according to a State Department official quoted in the Miami Herald.

Moving the detainees to the United States would give them habeas corpus rights to challenge their detention in federal courts. Vice President Dick Cheney and the Department of Homeland Security have opposed a transfer here.

“No decisions on the future of Guantanamo Bay are imminent,” National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe told the Post.

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