The Pentagon is drawing up plans to shut the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to be prepared for any order from President-elect Barack Obama, who has promised to close the controversial facility after he assumes office Jan. 20, a defense official said yesterday.
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates instructed his staff to have a blueprint in place by the time of the inauguration in case Obama decides the closure of the facility is one of his "first orders of business," said Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell.
Gates "has asked his team for a proposal on how to shut it down -- what would be required specifically to close it and move the detainees from that facility while at the same time, of course, ensuring that we protect the American people from some dangerous characters," Morrell said at a news briefing.
Any plan will probably address whether to also abolish the military commission system and, if so, what kind of legal framework can be substituted to put detainees on trial.
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