The decision comes as the Obama administration is hitting snags in its effort to close Guantanamo prison by January.
Although US President Barack Obama pledged to close the controversial military prison at Guantanamo Bay within a year of taking office, administration officials now say they are unlikely to meet that deadline due to a series of political complexities and lack of foresight.
In addition, after a review of existing Congressional legislation, the administration decided it has the legal authority to hold indefinitely terrorism suspects even when they cannot be charged with a crime, a stance which echoes that of the Bush administration.
Since its creation shortly after the 9/11 attacks, the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has been a source of controversy, as Reuters details: "There are about 229 men still held at the military prison on a U.S. Navy base in Cuba. The United States has been widely criticized for the detention of suspects there for years without trial."
The New York Times reports that Obama, in not seeking new legislation from Congress for a new system of detention, is taking a stance that hews toward that of the Bush administration, although with certain key differences:
In concluding that it does not need specific permission from Congress to hold detainees without charges, the Obama administration is adopting one of the arguments advanced by the Bush administration in years of debates about detention policies.
But President Obama’s advisers are not embracing the more disputed Bush contention that the president has inherent power under the Constitution to detain terrorism suspects indefinitely regardless of Congress.