President Obama has once again pledged to close the Guantanamo Bay prison. But can he back up his brave words with decisive action? Yes, if he chooses to.
Legislation bars him from sending Guantanamo detainees to the mainland United States to receive justice from the federal courts, leaving them to be tried by slow-moving military commissions that deny them many of the guarantees of civilian legal procedure. Nevertheless, the president can send federal judges to Guantanamo, where they could resolve the remaining cases in trials everyone can respect. The clearest precedent was set in postwar Germany.
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Bruce Ackerman, the author of “Before the Next Attack,” and Eugene R. Fidell, founding president of the National Institute of Military Justice, teach at Yale Law School. They wrote this for The New York Times.