Washington, Jan.22 (ANI): President Obama's plans to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay within the year could face resistance among some Republicans and from the families of terror victims, even as questions are being raised about what would happen to the 245 remaining detainees at the facility.
Obama is expected Thursday to sign executive orders calling for the closure within the year and the development of new procedures for handling detainees and new policies on interrogations.
On Wednesday, White House counsel Greg Craig met with top Republicans to review the president's plan.
Representative Lamar Smith of Texas, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, told Fox News that he worries that if the prisoners are transferred to U.S. soil, then constitutional standards would apply to them, and that raises the potential of a "friendly judge" releasing them.
Smith also voiced concern about detainees being transferred to other countries, saying it was "almost inevitable" that the Obama administration will relax some of the standards for confining and prosecuting the detainees.
Drafts of the orders obtained Wednesday state that closing the facility "would further the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States and the interests of justice."
With the executive orders, Obama will call for a panel to conduct a systematic review of each of the 245 remaining detainees' cases to determine which ones can be released and which should be prosecuted or remain confined.
In the meantime, trials before the existing military commissions would be put on hold.
A judge has already granted Obama's request to suspend the war crimes trial of a young Canadian for 120 days.
Army Col. Stephen Henley issued the ruling Wednesday after a brief hearing at the Guantanamo base.
That decision promoted outrage among the families of people killed in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, because some of the detainees at Guantanamo are suspects in the attacks. (ANI)