Amy Davidson is disappointed:
“The American system of justice is a key part of our arsenal in the war against al-Qaedaand its affiliates,” President Obama said in a statement today. Very true, which is why it was frustrating that his comments came with an executive order that moved away from a recognition of what our courts can do. The order lifted a block on new military-commission trials at Guantánamo, which had been put in place two years ago, when Obama said that he wanted to close the prison in a year. According to a “fact sheet” the White House put out today, he still wants to close it, in theory. In practice, though, it doesn’t look like it will be anytime soon, and, with the new commitment to commissions, certain suspects are less likely to have to answer the accusations against them in real courts, before American juries.
Massimo Calabresi provides more background.