Can Obama’s Executive Order on Guantánamo Stand Up Against Congress?

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Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

The Obama administration is putting together an executive order that will make indefinite detention without trial for some Guantánamo detainees official. The order also allows detainees and their lawyers to challenge the basis for continued incarceration. The White House has said all along that this order for prolonged detention, preferably within the U.S., was one of its strategies for closing down the military prison.This week, Congress is set to vote on banning the transfer of detainees to the United States for trial and roadblocks to repatriation or resettlement elsewhere for other detainees. The order calls for a more adversarial system than the one under the Bush administration, where detainees could challenge their incarceration periodically. But the defense bill, if passed in the Senate, "would effectively force the administration to conduct only military commissions and at Guantánamo Bay, which would also have to remain open to house those held indefinitely." That's probably one too many "indefinitelys" for anyone hoping the president would make good on his promise.

Obama administration readies indefinite detention order for Guantanamo detainees [WP]