One of President Obama's main promises during the 2008 campaign was the closure of the naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Almost four years later, however, the facility still remains open, and its prisoners are still incarcerated.
Carol Rosenberg, correspondent at the Miami Herald, has been at the forefront of all the news from Guantanamo Bay. "There's 168 men down there," she says. "Only four of them have been convicted."
The small number of convictions does not mean that the facility is full of prisoners who have been proven guilty, however. "The Obama administration, using Bush administration analyses, has said that about 80 of these men can go as soon as they can secure agreements to safely put them somewhere," Rosenberg says.
As for the men who are awaiting trial for crimes such as the September 11 attacks and the USS Cole bombing in 2003, the mechanisms for the trials and possible capital punishments are not even currently in place. Five men, including Khalid Sheik Mohamed, will face the death penalty if convicted. "There isn't even a method of execution. Under the law that Congress passed and created to do military commissions at Guantanamo, the Secretary of Defense will decide the system by which somebody would be put to death." Rosenberg has asked the administration about Secretary Leon Panetta's plans to implement a system, but has not received any definitive answers.
"It sort of shows what a work in progress military commissions are," Rosenberg says. "Somewhere down the road, some lawyer will probably [be assigned] to figure it out."