What's the Future of Guantánamo?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wednesday marks the tenth anniversary of the United States opening a detention camp in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. The past decade has seen no shortage of controversy about the base, both on legal and moral terms. Barack Obama campaigned for president on the promise to close the base, but signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act on December 31, which includes a provision allowing indefinite military detention without trial. There are currently 171 prisoners being held there, and no signs of shutting the facility down in the near future.

Vijay Padmanabhan, assistant professor of Law at the Vanderbilt Law School, discusses the legal and political future of the base. Padmanabhan was also the U.S. Department of State's chief counsel on Guantanamo under President Bush from 2006-2008. Brandon Neely, a former Army guard at Guantánamo Bay who gained a great deal of attention for publicly criticizing the camp, talks about what he wants to see happen with Guantánamo.


Brandon Neely and Vijay Padmanabhan

Produced by:

Ben Gottlieb and Sitara Nieves

Comments [1]


"We can't be hypocrites"...from Guantánamo to Geronimo.
Go back and review the great partisan celebrations of the administration giving the order to dispatch OBL and the infantile denial of how the information that led to OBL was assembled over several years thanks to programs like Gitmo and waterboarding not to mention the terrorist atrocities averted because of those anti-terror initiatives introduced by the Bush Administration and opposed by a certain state and US Senator from Chicago.
"We can't be hypocrites" indeed considering how since Jan. 2009 Gitmo and wars including the extra Constitutional "kinetic military action" in Libya does not interest "peace" protesters anymore.
The policy now seems to target any terror suspect for elimination with drones rather than capture them which somehow is now considered a more humane and legal policy from the Democratic leadership.

Considering that Obama's party controlled the Congress for two years he could have pushed through a closing of Gitmo if he wanted to and try foreign terrorists as civilians. Perhaps there is something about confronting a national security briefing every morning that gives a President a different perspective and explains why Obama's actions have largely been a continuation of Bush's complete with the same Sec. of Defense and a rather hawkish Sec. of State who voted for the Iraq War.

A less lopsided discussion may have provided a little more perspective but perhaps that is not the intention.

Jan. 11 2012 10:06 AM

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