WASHINGTON (CNN) - In a move that could reignite tensions with liberals in his own party, President Barack Obama is planning on Friday to resume the Bush administration's highly-controversial military commissions system - which Obama suspended his first week in office - for some Guantanamo detainees, according to three administration officials.
Some of the high-profile terror suspects who are currently being charged in the tribunal process include Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-confessed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.
The administration officials stressed that the updated system will include expanded due-process rights for the terror suspects, which administration officials note is consistent with what Obama pushed for as a Senator in 2006 in order to improve upon the widely-criticized approach created by the Bush administration.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/09/art.getty.holder.point.jpg caption="Holder did not indicate when and how the United States would release or criminally charge detainees on U.S. soil."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Attorney General Eric Holder, speaking in Berlin Wednesday night, appealed to European nations to accept some of the detainees held by the U.S. at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to help the Obama Administration close down the prison facility.
"I know that Europe did not open Guantanamo, and that in fact, a great many on this continent opposed it, Holder said in his address at the American Academy of Berlin. "To close Guantanamo, we must all make sacrifices and we must all be willing to make unpopular choices," Holder said.
"The United States is ready to do its part, and we hope that Europe will join us– not out of a sense of responsibility, but from a commitment to work with one of its oldest allies to confront one of the world's most pressing challenges," the Attorney General said.
Holder did not indicate when and how the United States would release or criminally charge detainees on U.S. soil.
Hours earlier, Holder told reporters that to date 30 of the remaining 241 Guantanamo detainees have been cleared to be released. U.S. officials have signalled they expect at least a few of the 17 Chinese Muslims held at the naval prison to be freed in the U.S.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/03/13/enemy.combatant/art.gitmo.gi.jpg caption="A Spanish judge Thursday ordered an investigation into harsh treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay under the Bush administration."]
MADRID, Spain (CNN) - A Spanish judge Thursday ordered an investigation into harsh treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay under the Bush administration on suspicion
that there was "an authorized and systematic plan for torture," according to a court document.
The case involves four former Guantanamo prisoners - a Spaniard, a Moroccan, a Palestinian and a Lebanese - who testified before the judge, Baltasar Garzon, that they had been tortured while held at the U.S. detention camp for terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Two of the four were acquitted in Spain of terrorism charges, while similar charges against two others were shelved, according to the 10-page court order from Judge Garzon on Thursday, viewed by CNN.
The judge wrote there is sufficient evidence to open an investigation, based on the testimony from the four, plus news media reports about newly-declassified U.S. government documents.
The declassified U.S. documents, he wrote, revealed "an authorized and systematic plan for torture and harsh treatment of people deprived of their freedom without any charges and without the most basic elemental rights for detainees, set forth and demanded by international treaties."
The alleged plan at Guantanamo and other prisons, including a detention facility at the Bagram air base in Afghanistan, "acquire almost an official and therefore generate penal responsibility in the different structures of execution - command, design and authorization of this systematic plan of torture," the judge wrote.
MADRID, Spain (CNN) - A Spanish judge moved Friday to keep alive an investigation into six former Bush administration officials for alleged torture of prisoners at the U.S. detention camp for terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay. Cuba.
He acted just hours after prosecutors urged the case to be dropped, according to a court document.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/03/13/enemy.combatant/art.gitmo.gi.jpg caption= "The complaint alleges the six former officials were the legal architects of a system that allowed torture of prisoners at Guantanamo."]
MADRID, Spain (CNN) - Prosecutors will recommend that a Spanish court drop its investigation of six former Bush administration officials for alleged torture of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Spain's attorney general said Thursday.
The claim against the former officials, presented by a human rights group and provisionally accepted last month at the court - pending an opinion from the prosecutors – threatens to turn the court "into a toy in the hands of people who are trying to do a political action," Attorney General Candido Conde-Pumpido said at a meeting at a downtown Madrid hotel.
"We undoubtedly cannot support that action," Conde-Pumpido said, adding that prosecutors would seek to avoid having the court "converted into a toy in the hands of people who seek a certain notoriety or who are trying to take a political action" within the Spanish judicial system.
If alleged torture at Guantanamo is going to be investigated at all, that should be done first in the United States, so that the former American officials would have a chance to defend themselves there, Conde-Pumpido added, according to his press chief, Fernando Noya.