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Bill Would Transfer Detainees

Posted Jul 3, 2007 11:38 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The administration is discussing legislation that would move some Guantanamo detainees to military brigs on American soil where they would be held indefinitely.

The idea is gaining support despite fears that legal challenges by detainees moved here will hamper the fight against terrorism, the New York Times reports.

Aides are discussing a bill that would divide the 375 detainees into three categories, the newspaper says.

One group of about 50 would be held indefinitely in military brigs to avoid disclosure of intelligence operations in a public trial, the newspaper says. Another group would receive military trials that provide more rights than offered in the present tribunal system. The remainder would be repatriated to their home countries.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said it will be difficult to draft a law that protects sensitive information and satisfies the courts. “I think that the biggest challenge is finding a statutory basis for holding prisoners who should never be released and who may or may not be able to be put on trial,” he said.

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