ABC News reports that the task force President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder empaneled to decide the venue for charging each remaining Guantanamo Bay detainee — civilian courts or military commissions — has wrapped up its work. So who won’t get charged — but will still be detained?
To get my meaning here, let’s back up about a month, when the administration announced that it intended to buy the Thomson Correction Center in Illinois to house those detainees who’ll face charges in — sigh — military commissions. On a conference call with reporters, a senior administration official said that the Obama team had yet to identify any detainees it placed in the so-called “Fifth Category“: those who are ostensibly too dangerous for release and ostensibly unfit to charge in *any *legal proceeding. The entire civil-libertarian nightmare scenario of a Democratic administration saying that it will hold people indefinitely without charge hinges on whether it places detainees in this “Fifth Category.” (Though it’s bad enough that a Democratic administration — any American government, really — would hold such a thing out as an option.)
Well. Time’s up! It’s unclear whether or how the Guantanamo Task Force will release its findings, outside of their results becoming clear when the commissions or the different federal jurisdictions announce their charges. According to ABC, the White House’s National Security Staff is reviewing the prospect of placing detainees into that Fifth Category — but it’s not clear whether the Task Force has recommended some detainees actually should be placed into that category.