Obama welcomes Supreme Court ruling on Guantanamo, McCain concerned
Democratic presidential hopeful Barack
Obama welcomed a Supreme Court ruling Thursday that allows foreign prisoners in
the war on terrorism to challenge their detention in US federal courts, while
his Republican rival John McCain voiced concern over the decision.
Obama said the court's 5-4 ruling rebuffed efforts by the Bush administration to create a "legal black hole" in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where about 270 foreign detainees are still being held, most without being charged.
"This is an important step toward reestablishing our credibility as a nation committed to the rule of law," Obama said in a statement.
The decision marked the third time the Supreme Court has ruled against President George W Bush's policies for holding and trying detainees in the war on terrorism.
Obama said he rejected the administration's creation of military tribunals to try detainees. A handful of trials under the existing system are already underway, including last week's start of the tribunal of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
"Bringing these detainees to justice is too important for us to rely on a flawed system that has ... compromised our core values," Obama said.
McCain said the decision "obviously concerns me" and pointed to the objections of Chief Justice John Roberts, who argued the ruling allowed federal courts to interfere with national security officials' efforts to protect the country.
"It is a decision the Supreme Court has made. Now, we need to move forward," said McCain, speaking to reporters in Boston.
But McCain, a former prisoner of war who has opposed the mistreatment of terrorism detainees, also reiterated his view that the Guantanamo facility should be closed, dpa reported.