Taking the high road

As rumors swirl about the policy plans of the approaching Obama administration, one issue will no doubt test the new presidentâÄôs mettle: Guantanamo Bay. Speculation on the fate of that installation has come among a rising tide of bad press. First, there was news that the United States was detaining 12 juveniles at Guantanamo âÄî up from the eight it had previously reported to the United Nations. Then came the publication of a University of California Berkley report that found many released prisoners are âÄúphysically and psychologically traumatized, debt-ridden and shunned in their communities.âÄù And then FridayâÄôs news: A Bush-appointed judge ordering the release of five prisoners, arguing that the case built on the eyewitness testimony of a single unnamed individual was too weak to maintain. Of course, all this comes on the tail of the Boumediene v. Bush Supreme Court ruling , upholding the writ of habeas corpus for Guantanamo detainees. Those who continue to defend Guantanamo point to its importance as a bulwark against terrorism, although this argument assumes all those detained are guilty and that the government would inexplicably release them if unable to maintain Guantanamo. Yet this need not be the case, and under an Obama administration, it should not be. President-elect Barack Obama should respect the law in prosecuting the war on terror and close Guantanamo. Those extremely dangerous few who need to be detained can be sent to ADX Florence, the maximum-security penitentiary in Colorado that already holds terrorists such as Zacarias Moussaoui . This would be an important step as we try to reclaim our moral authority.