by Patrick Appel
Marc on what to do with Gitmo detainees:
A large number of present detainees will be prosecuted by the military; the Obama administration wants to review and modify the process. What happens when -- if -- there is evidence that these detainees are dangerous but not enough to convict them of a crime -- is unknown. As to the most dangerous detainees, policy is undetermined at this point. They will continue to be detained, and their status won't change. (Republicans ask: what happens when and if Usama Bin Laden is captured? During his campaign, Obama said he'd put UBL on trial in criminal court.) For insight into the perplexities here, check out this interview with Bruce Riedel, a top Al Qaeda observer and Obama adviser, in Der Spiegel; he's asked about which group of prisoners will be the most difficult to release:
The Yemenis. They are the largest group among the remaining detainees. According to the US military, which is holding them, there are now 248 prisoners: 27 of them are al-Qaida leadership cadre; 99 are lower level al-Qaida operatives. A big chunk of those are Yemenis. They cannot go back to Yemen because Yemen can't be trusted to keep dangerous prisoners from rejoining the global jihad. What is left in Guantanamo is the hard core; the easy cases are long gone. Another difficult problem are the Chinese. They cannot go home because China cannot be trusted when it comes to human rights and abuse.
There are Uighur Chinese prisoners in Gitmo.... and China has warned just about every developed country in the world from accepting them.