The New York Times reports that Barack Obama is likely to sign an executive order calling for the closure of the Guantanamo Bay prison facility on his first day in office. In addition, they report that the Obama Team is likely to immediately scrap the Military Commissions system and that they are unlikely to ask for a new law that would provide for indefinite detentions within the United States.

However, as Barack Obama noted on Sunday in his conversation with George Stephanopoulos, the actual spadework of transferring the prisoners out of Guantanamo might take a while…perhaps a full year. Many of the prisoners cannot be sent home because their home governments would mistreat them. Third-country sponsors will have to be found to host these people. Others prisoners will need to be prosecuted. And a small number are probably unsafe to release and impossible to convict due to their treatment by American officials. This last group is the one that the Obama Team is refusing to detain indefinitely (under a new law) or to prosecute through the Military Commissions Act. But it’s not clear just what they will do with them.

I don’t support releasing them, but I am also glad they will not be put through the flawed Military Commissions process and that they will not be detained without process. I hope the Obama Team can come up with a solution we can be proud of, or at least live with. There are no good options that I can think of.

In any case, let this be a lesson to people that are inclined to jump on every word Obama utters and make the worst assumptions.

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