Closing the Guantanamo Detention Center: Legal Issues [May 30, 2013]   [open pdf - 621KB]

"Following the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Congress passed the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), which granted the President the authority 'to use all necessary and appropriate force against those ... [who] planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks' against the United States. Many persons subsequently captured during military operations in Afghanistan and elsewhere were transferred to the U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for detention and possible prosecution. Although nearly 800 persons have been held at Guantanamo since early 2002, the substantial majority of Guantanamo detainees have been transferred to another country for continued detention or release. […] This report provides an overview of major legal issues likely to arise as a result of executive and legislative action to close the Guantanamo detention facility. It discusses legal issues related to the transfer of Guantanamo detainees (either to a foreign country or into the United States), the continued detention of such persons in the United States, and the possible removal of persons brought into the country. It also discusses selected constitutional issues that may arise in the criminal prosecution of detainees, emphasizing the procedural and substantive protections that are utilized in different forums (i.e., federal courts, court-martial proceedings, and military commissions)."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R40139
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