A Decade of Guantanamo
Posted on Jan 11, 2012
The indefinite detention center that has undermined American justice since the first prisoners arrived from Afghanistan 10 years ago Wednesday is still open for business in Cuba.
President Obama promised to close the island gulag, but he ran into the Great Wall of Congress. Obama’s continued reliance on George W. Bush’s less ethical national security measures has further diminished his credibility among civil libertarians who would like to see Guantanamo prisoners either tried in court or released. Still, just in time for Guantanamo’s birthday, the White House reiterated the president’s commitment to shut down the prison.
The Washington Post reports that the administration could release or repatriate 89 of the 171 prisoners were it not for restrictions imposed by Congress.
NPR reports that there may be hope yet for the 48 or so detainees whom the government cannot convict, yet considers too dangerous to release. They could be served up as an olive branch to the Taliban, a first foray into serious peace negotiations with an enemy the United States has been at war with for 11 long years. —PZS
AP / Brennan Linsley
A detainee yells from his cell window in this 2009 photo after spotting a group of journalists who were visiting the Guantanamo Bay U.S. military prison in Cuba. The prison, which marked its 10th anniversary on Wednesday, seems more established than ever. The deadline set by President Obama for closing it came and went two years ago. No detainee has left in a year because of restrictions on transfers, and indefinite military detention is now enshrined in U.S. law. Prisoners plan to mark the day with sit-ins, banners and a refusal of meals, said Ramzi Kassem, a lawyer who represents seven inmates.