Task force weighs moving Guantanamo prisoners to U.S.

WASHINGTON Mon Aug 3, 2009 1:10am EDT

Flags wave above the sign posted at the entrance to Camp Justice, the site of the U.S. war crimes tribunal compound, at Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in Cuba May 31, 2009. REUTERS/Brennan Linsley/Pool

Flags wave above the sign posted at the entrance to Camp Justice, the site of the U.S. war crimes tribunal compound, at Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in Cuba May 31, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Brennan Linsley/Pool

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A task force is studying the possibility of moving some suspected militants from Guantanamo Bay to a maximum security prison in the United States with its own courtrooms for criminal and military trials, The Washington Post reported on Sunday.

Two sites are under consideration, the military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and a maximum security prison in Standish, Michigan that is scheduled to be closed, the newspaper said, citing Obama administration officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"This is one of the ideas that's been floated and come under discussion," one official told the Post, adding the interagency task force examining detention policy has not decided whether to recommend such a proposal.

President Barack Obama has pledged to close the prison at the U.S. Navy base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, but has faced strong opposition from lawmakers to transferring the remaining 240 prisoners to U.S. soil for detention and trial.

Only 11 people have been charged with crimes. U.S. military prosecutors say the have viable cases against 66 of the men.

Harsh interrogations that some see as torture and the detention of hundreds of suspected Islamic militants without trial have damaged the moral standing of the United States in the international community.

Obama has suspended prosecutions at Guantanamo, set up by President George W. Bush after the September 11 attacks on the United States in 2001, pending his administration's review of the first U.S. war crimes tribunals since World War Two.

(Editing by John O'Callaghan)

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