The action complies with Obama's recently ordered freeze on military trials at Guantanamo Bay. Earlier this year, Obama promised Guantamano would be shut down within a year and the fates of several hundred prisoners are now being reviewed. While some have never been charged, others are like al-Nashiri and that means al-Qaida terrorists could be roaming free in the very near future.
It is ironic that Obama met with families of the U.S.S. Cole victicms yesterday -- just as he scrapped one of their only modes to justice. When first charged, al-Nashiri was expected to receive the death penalty for his role in planning the bombing, which killed 17 U.S. sailors.
The mother of U.S.S. Cole victim James Roderick McDaniels appeared on Fox News yesterday to express her anger at Obama's decision. Diane McDaniels refused Obama's invitation of a meeting and said after "voting for him, now I think I made the wrong decision."
"There's nothing he can tell me to make me feel any better," McDaniels said.
Obama reportedly assured families that terror suspects would be brought “to a swift and certain justice" but it's difficult to believe him when al-Nashiri is going to walk free.
Obama's decision to close the prison was criticized by Republicans, including his former rival Sen. John McCain -- a vocal opponent of interrogation tactics like waterboarding sometimes used in questioning suspects. McCain believes Obama's hasty timetable was premature.
"So, the easy part, in all due respect, is to say we're going to close Guantanamo...then I think I would have said where they were going to be taken. Because you're going to run into a NIMBY [not in my backyard] problem here in the United States of America," McCain said after the decision.