GTMO’s future; Bostan v. Obama (D.D.C.)

January 25, 2009

Two related items on the pending policy change relating to GTMO

1. Draft executive order on GTMO closure

A number of sources are reporting that a draft executive order is in circulation, one that would provide for closure of GTMO as a detention facility within the year.  It is not clear whether the draft also specifies what will become of the detainees, thought it sounds as if the draft is likely silent on that point for now.

2. Bostan v. Obama (D.D.C. Jan. 20, 2009)

No doubt you have heard by now that military commission proceedings have been stayed for the next 120 days while the new administration sorts out its plans for that process.  But what about the ongoing habeas review process for the GTMO detainees?  Bostan v. Obama (was v. Bush, of course) is one of the many pending petitions, and as it happened there was a hearing in that case set for this afternoon.  Shortly after the inauguration, however, DOJ moved for a two-week continuance (with consent from the detainees), and Judge Walton granted it.  The motion explained:

3. The Government is now assessing how it will proceed in the above-captioned Guantanamo Bay detainee habeas corpus cases. Time is needed to make that assessment and determination. Accordingly, the Government requests a short, two-week continuance of tomorrow’s hearing to permit the assessment to move forward without an intervening argument on the first full day of the new Administration as to the Government’s legal and other merits related positions in these cases.

The full motion is here: