Statement by Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Resumption of Military Commission Charges

Washington, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)–March 7, 2011.  

“I have today rescinded my prior order suspending the filing of new military commission charges.  I issued the prior order to permit the new administration time to conduct a comprehensive review of the status of each Guantanamo detainee.  That review is now complete.  In addition, there have been a number of key reforms to military commissions brought about by the Military Commissions Act of 2009 and other efforts.  I also support the other initiatives announced today.  In addition to bringing detainees to justice in reformed military commissions, I believe that it is important that we maintain the option of prosecuting alleged terrorists in federal courts in the United States.  For reasons of national security, we must have available to us all the tools that exist for preventing and combating international terrorist activity, and protecting our nation.  For years, our federal courts have proven to be a secure and effective means for bringing terrorists to justice.  To completely foreclose this option is unwise and unnecessary.”