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A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Matthew Allee, (202) 580-6922 or

Constitution Project Decries Obama Administration Decision to Indefinitely Detain Some Detainees Without Charge

"One Year and Counting", webcast available online today at noon, highlights recommendations in Beyond Guantánamo: A Bipartisan Declaration


In news accounts this morning, it was reported that,
on the anniversary marking President Obama's pledge to close the
Guantanamo Bay detention facility within one year, the administration
will pursue a policy of indefinite detention without charge for
approximately 50 detainees still held at Guantanamo. The administration
had previously acknowledged that it will miss the deadline to close the
facility, while continuing its pledge to see the detention facility

"Even if the Obama administration continues to work to
close Guantanamo, by pursuing a policy of indefinite detention without
charge, the damaging policies that embody the prison will continue, as
will the negative effects to American values, the rule of law, and our
nation's reputation abroad," said Virginia Sloan, president of the
Constitution Project. "The constitutional way to fulfill the
president's commitment to closing Guantanamo is to prosecute suspected
terrorists in federal court, and to oppose the use of military
commissions and indefinite detention without charge. There is
widespread bipartisan support for closing Guantanamo in a way that
returns our nation to its constitutional principles, as embodied in Beyond Guantanamo: A Bipartisan Declaration."

take note of the missed deadline, the Constitution Project joined with
the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Open Society Institute to
cosponsor a panel discussion examining what prevented the
administration from reaching its goal and what obstacles remain to
closing the detention facility. Titled "One Year and Counting: When and
How Will Guantanamo Close?," the program featured an array of voices,
including current and former government and military officials, a
sitting federal judge, a former federal prosecutor in New York City,
advocates, and litigators. A webcast of today's event will be available
online at noon; link is below.

Two participants are signatories to Beyond Guantanamo: A Bipartisan Declaration,
which calls on the Obama administration and Congress to support a
policy for closing Guantanamo that is consistent with our
constitutional principles and also ensures our country's security. An
effort coordinated by the Constitution Project and Human Rights First
and joined by nearly 140 prominent Americans, including former members
of Congress, diplomats, federal judges and prosecutors, high-level
military and government officials, as well as national security and
foreign policy experts, bar leaders, and family members of 9/11
victims, the Declaration supports prosecution of terrorism
suspects in traditional federal court, rather than by military
commission, and opposes indefinite detention without charge.

To view the live webcast of today's panel discussion, go to:

To view a copy of Beyond Guantanamo: A Bipartisan Declaration, go to:

The Constitution Project is a politically independent think tank established in 1997 to promote and defend constitutional safeguards. More information about the Constitution Project is available at