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Slate: Nuts and Deadbolts

Authors: Jack Goldsmith, and Benjamin Wittes
December 8, 2008

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Slate's Jack Goldsmith and Benjamin Wittes offer a blueprint for President-elect Barack Obama's efforts to close the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay.

President-elect Barack Obama has made clear that he will close the Guantanamo Bay detention center. Notwithstanding the news this morning that Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four others want to confess their guilt in the 9/11 plots, closing the Cuban detention center is easier said than done. Closing the facility, which currently holds 250 or so alleged terrorists, involves a raft of hard decisions and trade-offs that won't get any easier simply because the new president's name is not Bush. The following is a checklist of the major questions President Obama will face, in rough sequential order, before he can shutter the camp:

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