TIME’s Mark Thompson points out that there are roughly 250 detainees now held by the U.S. in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. At a similar facility at Bagram, Afghanistan, the U.S. military is holding an estimated 670 detainees. Furthermore, “the U.S. military is building a new prison for what it calls ‘unlawful enemy combatants’ at Bagram that won’t be finished until Obama is well settled in the White House.” Obama has not declared his intentions with regards to Bagram, but Thompson lays out the dilemma.
If he keeps the existing rules at Bagram, he’ll have to justify why those prisoners should be treated more harshly than those who ended up at Guantanamo. But if he wants them handled the same way as the Guantanamo detainees, he’s going to run afoul of the U.S. military’s wishes. Given Obama’s promise to nearly double the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, that’s not something he wants to do. And the Pentagon argues that giving those held at Bagram habeas relief would endanger those very U.S. troops Obama is prepared to order to Afghanistan.
Full story is here.