President Bush Acknowledges Secret Detention Centers – 14 Detainees To Be Brought To Guantanamo Bay For Trial

President Bush Acknowledges Secret Detention Centers – 14 Detainees To Be Brought To Guantanamo Bay For Trial

Today, in a surprise move, President Bush announced that 14 al-Qaeda terrorist suspects held in secret detention camps in Europe and Africa will be transferred to Guantanamo Bay Cuba to face trial by military tribunal. The President also called for Congress to pass legislation concerning the special military tribunals.

This is the first confirmation of the secret CIA detention centers by the Bush Administration. The President said that this will not end the secret program and as more suspects are captured, the continued existence of the CIA secret detention program "will be crucial" in extracting valuable information through interrogations and in preventing new attacks on U.S. soil.

The President made it plain that the US has not tortured any of these suspects. “I want to be absolutely clear with our people, and the world: The United States does not torture. It's against our laws, and it's against our values.” Bush then added “I have not authorized it.” Comment on this Article at our Forum

There have been thousands of terrorists captured around the world. About 770 were sent to Guantanamo Bay, of which about 315 have been returned to other countries so far, and about 455 remain in US custody.

Although the Supreme Court struck down plans to establish military commissions in an effort to try detainees at Guantanamo. The court ruled 5-3 on June 29th that the special military tribunals, outlined by Bush in a Nov. 13, 2001 military order, were not authorized by Congress and violated the standards of U.S. military justice and the Geneva Conventions. This has prompted the President to call on Congress to pass new legislation concerning the special military tribunals, so that they can be tried for crimes including the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

The Administration hopes the Tribunals can resume in 2007. The military will likely seek the death penalty in some cases, but the exact number has not been determined. Previously the U.S. has filed charges against 10 detainees, but will likely have to re-file those charges because of the Supreme Court ruling. Comment on this Article at our Forum

By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication Staff

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