Executing Gitmo Detainees Will Endanger America, Report Says

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The Center For American Progress, a public policy think-tank based in D.C., has released a report that investigates the implications of the closure of Guantanamo Bay.

The report makes several recommendations, specifically that the closure deadline should be pushed back to July 2010 and that federal courts should be used for trial wherever possible.

Perhaps most importantly, the report argues that use of the death penalty in cases related to 9/11 would be counter productive:

It is in the strategic interests of the United States to deny these most heinous Al Qaeda terrorists what they want most: martyrdom. Al Qaeda will exploit an execution by the U.S. government as a significant propaganda victory, no matter how fair and legitimate the trial. Life imprisonment, however, would cause Khalid Sheik Mohammed and his co-conspirators to be forgotten like Ramzi Yousef and other terrorists currently rotting in obscurity in U.S. jails.

In January 2009 President Obama signed executive orders that proposed the base should be closed within the year. Attorney General Eric Holder has said that a decision about which detainees should be tried in military courts and which in civilian courts would be made by November 16.

For the full text of the report and an executive summery, please visit The Center For American Progress

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