Tribunal Decision Expected Today

The New York Times reports that President Obama will announce today that he's decided to largely keep in place the military commission mechanism set up by his predecessor, but he'll also ask Congress's permission to significantly expand the rights available to detainees.  White House officials point to legislation introduced by Sens. John McCain, John Warner and Lindsey Graham in 2006 as a "starting point." That legislation includes a ban on evidence obtained through torture, tough criteria for admitting heresay evidence; giving the detainees some right to protect themselves against self-incrimination, and more.  On a technical note -- but one that's vitally important to the legal end of the process -- the CSRT -- a review tribunal that the military used to figure out whether the detainees could be afforded a trial -- will be eliminated. Except in extraordinary circumstances, detainees should expect a military commission.