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What’s Next For Guantanamo?

The Guantanamo horror show. Prisoners on a hunger strike and big questions about justice and what to do with the detainees.

In this April 16, 2013 video frame grab reviewed by the U.S. military, a shackled detainee meets with medical personnel in Camp 6, at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, in Cuba. (AP)

In this April 16, 2013 video frame grab reviewed by the U.S. military, a shackled detainee meets with medical personnel in Camp 6, at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, in Cuba. (Suzette Laboy/AP)

The American prison at Guantanamo has come to stand for so many moral trade-offs the United States has made in the years since 9/11.

George Bush filled it but did not empty it. Barack Obama promised to close it but has not followed through. Congress has made it complicated. Even prisoners cleared for exit have been going nowhere.

Now, inmates at Guantanamo have turned again to hunger strike. In return, they are force-fed. Held without charges.

It needs to end, to close, said the president again last week. But how?

Up next On Point: Confronting Guantanamo.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Carol Rosenberg, reporter for the Miami Herald covering the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo, Cuba. (@carolrosenberg)

Daniel Klaidman, national political correspondent for The Daily Beast. Author of “Kill Or Capture: The War On Terror And The Soul Of The Obama Presidency” — read the book’s prologue (PDF). (@dklaidman)

John Hutson, retired Navy Rear Admiral, attorney and judge advocate of the U.S. Navy. Dean and President Emeritus of the University of New Hampshire School of Law.

Ben Wittes, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Co-founder and editor-in-chief of the blog Lawfare. (@benjaminwittes)

Collected Show Highlights

Individual Show Highlights

Carol Rosenberg, who recently visited Guantanamo, detailed the conditions at the detention facility. Listen to her full interview here, with some highlights below:

As of Monday morning, Rosenberg said 100 prisoners were on hunger strike, with nearly a quarter being force fed.

Prior to the strike, many detainees lived communally.

“The doctrine of communal was keep the two sides apart. Keep the men who are the prisoners managing their own lives and keep the guards on the outside to make sure nothing goes wrong,” Rosenberg said. “It was more of a doctrine of ‘if you behave on your side, we’ll behave on our side.’”

But on February 6, there was a shakedown, Rosenberg explained. Detainees claim their cells and personal belongings — including their Korans — were aggressively searched. The military says they followed usual procedures.

The hunger strike began, with lockdown quickly following.

“More than 100 men individually locked into cells up to 22 hours a day, 24 if they refuse recreation time, living alone, eating alone, praying alone. If they get a soccer ball, they’re inside an enclosure, a cage, kicking that soccer ball alone,” Rosenberg said. “What we have now at Gitmo is lockdown and this hunger strike — the hunger strike first and the lockdown now to manage it.”

In total, 86 detainees have been cleared for transfer or release, but they continue to be held at Guantanamo. Daniel Klaidman explained how that’s possible:

I think the principle legal or legislative road block is a law that’s been passed for a couple of years now in the Defense Authorization Act, which puts some restrictions on transferring even those 86 who have been cleared for transfer or release. What Congress essentially did a couple of years ago was to say that the defense secretary would have to certify that if they released these people, there was really no danger of them committing acts of terrorism, striking back that the United States. There could be waivers, but it was a very high burden and a very onerous restriction. That’s been loosened somewhat. And so people are now saying that the president simply could direct the Secretary of Defense to issue those waivers and transfer or release some or all of the 86 who are still there but who have been cleared for release.

It gets complicated, as Carol Rosenberg alluded to.  There are the 56 Yemenese who the president decided on his own could not be transferred back to Yemen because of the unstable situation there, the existence of the al Qaeda affiliate there, the inability of the government in Yemen to handle such a large number of potential jihadis returning to Yemen. But there are ways around that, and I think the administration is now once again trying to figure out whether they can figure out the solution to return the Yemenese, for example.

There are 46 detainees who are being held indefinitely at Guantanamo. John Hutson reflected on the predicament, emphasizing that Guantanamo should be closed:

What’s the alternative? Not closing it? Fifty years from now are we going to have 166 very old men still doddering around in Guantanamo? I think there’s not an alternative. It’s a Hobson’s choice — there’s not a real alternative. We have to close it down.

In order to do that, it’s a three-step process. We’re going to have to release the people that we can release, transfer other people and prosecute the remainder. The idea of holding even 46 people — we always use the word “indefinitely” because I think it’s a little less harsh than “forever.” That’s the real word. Can we imprison them? The United States of America where justice is our greatest asset, can we imprison people in what is essentially an American gulag for life? That just isn’t an alternative.

You used a very nice phrase — “the balance of threat.” I can’t prove it but I know intuitively that we are creating more terrorists at the other end of the pipeline than the 166 or 46 or whatever the number is that we want to use because of the existence of Guantanamo and that the United States of America is detaining people — shall we say nicely — indefinitely.

We need to operate here I think from a position of strength and courage and not from weakness and fear, which is what for me Guantanamo represents.

Ben Wittes said the United States is legally authorized to continue keeping prisoners at Guantanamo:

The laws of war entitle you to detain people. They don’t say you have to keep bringing people to the same facility. They say you’re allowed to detain people while hostilities continue. It’s a very simple principle. The principle is you’re entitled to neutralize the enemy and detention is a less robust and less costly to liberty way of doing that than the other way you do it in war, which is killing people.

And so I don’t have a problem with the idea that the United States would detain people at Guantanamo while hostilities continue. I think as you reach that point where hostilities can be said to be over, I think you do reach some very very difficult questions about what to do with people who may be expected to restart hostilities if released, but you’re also not in a position to bring to trial.

I would like to say one thing about a certain group — the people you can’t expect to bring to trial but are really dangerous. Some of them are mid-level al Qaeda operatives. Some of them are not. Some of them are very senior al Qaeda operatives whose crimes may not have been committed against us but against some other country or who came out of the CIA program and are therefore subject to very serious mistreatment…as long as we have a plausible legal basis on which to hold them, I want to do that. I agree at the point at which you’re reached the end of the conflict, the end of hostilities, you have some very hard choices to make there. But as long as hostilities are continuing and we have the legal authority to detain people associated at a very senior level with atrocities of that magnitude, I am not going to run away from that.

From Tom’s Reading List

Foreign Policy: How To Close Guantanamo — “President Barack Obama finally broke his long silence on Tuesday on the need to close Guantanamo. Echoing comments he made four years ago — when, on his second day in office he promised to close the facility within a year – he said ‘Guantanamo is not necessary to keep America safe. It is expensive. It is inefficient…It needs to be closed.’”

The Guardian: U.S. Drone Strikes Being Used As Alternative To Guantánamo, Lawyer Says — “The lawyer who first drew up White House policy on lethal drone strikes has accused the Obama administration of overusing them because of its reluctance to capture prisoners that would otherwise have to be sent to Guantánamo Bay.”

The Washington Post: Guantanamo Hunger Strike Renews Debates Over Indefinite Detention — “Twice a day at the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, guards take a group of detainees from their cells, one at a time, to a camp clinic or a private room on their block. The detainees are offered a hot meal or a liquid nutritional supplement, and, if they refuse, they are strapped into a chair. A nurse then passes a tube through their noses and down into their stomachs; for one to two hours, they are fed a drip of Ensure while a Navy corpsman watches.”

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rebekah-Becky-Majors-Manley/100000808133635 Rebekah Becky Majors-Manley

    The closing of this place has to be done.I am upset that it has not been done as promised. I hate our congress.

    • Shag_Wevera

      Our congress is a reflection of us.

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    What are their crimes, exactly ? Are they any different than any other soldier’s would be ? I fail to understand why these people are so feared. If they are somehow more guilty and dangerous than any other humans have ever been, bring them to trial and send them to a firing squad if necessary. Otherwise, put all these types on an island in the Pacific and let them live like the animals they are and forget about them .

    • brettearle

      So, letting them live like animals is supposed to be emblematic of a nation that aspires to be a nation of upholding human rights–where cruel and unusual punishment is the exception.

      Or is Hammurabi’s Code the way you simply like to operate in Life?

      • Wm_James_from_Missouri

        Please tell me, what, exactly, is cruel about living on an island ? Unusual ? Yes, in the sense that relocating these people to a place where they can not do others harm and are forced to live with themselves, actually solves the problem. I do not feel that it is America’s “job” to solve everyone’s problems or support everyone’s ideology ! I would put them on a distant planet if I could ! By the way, cosmologist tell us the probability is high that intelligence of some sort exist in the Universe. It therefore follows that there will be massive amounts of beings that support ideologies that are not compatible with “ours”. Should I or you allow any being to impose their way of life on us ?

        • brettearle

          When you were saying, “let them live like the animals they are”, I took you literally, not symbolically.

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    There are a number of high value terrorists such as Khalid Shaikh Mohammed who are being held at Gitmo.  Were we to bring them to the U.S. and put them in our prisons, morally bankrupt ACLU lawyers would crawl over themselves to defend them and to get publicity for themselves.  They would radicalize all of the malcontents in prison.  Keep them in prison.  Also, if extensive use of drones is an effective alternative to capturing them and then having to hold them at Gitmo, I’m all for that.  Remember, they were the ones who flew planes into WTC and Pentagon, bombed the U.S.S. Cole, planted bombs at the Boston City Marathon, and committed other acts in an attempt to kill innocent civilians.

    • arydberg

      What happens to these people is not a big concern.  It is what our actions are doing to us that is the bigger issue.   We are becoming uncivilized.    These people should be released  not for their sake but for ours.    

      • DrewInGeorgia

        becoming?

      • brettearle

        The issue really is that the Military Laws of Rights and Detention need to be changed.

        When the Laws change, there are no Gitmos; or else, reduced versions of Gitmos.

    • brettearle

      The ACLU defends the civil liberties of the Constitution.

      If you don’t like it, then change the Constitution.

    • alsordi

      “high value”  ” bad actors”  ” terrorists”  nice labels to frighten the peeps.  

      I for one, would like to see these bad actors get the same media exposure as Jodi Arias.  I for one would like to see them on the witness stand in a fair trial.  

      I for one would like to hear the “bad actor’s” side of the story.

    • Shag_Wevera

      ” Remember, they were the ones who flew planes into WTC and Pentagon, bombed the U.S.S. Cole, planted bombs at the Boston City Marathon, and committed other acts in an attempt to kill innocent civilians.”

      Who exactly is “they”?

      • arydberg

        Remember “they” included those in our government’s who have blocked efforts to determine whatever happened to building seven.   

        • alsordi

          Like Lucky Larry said ” they pulled it”.

    • jimino

      In your world those who fight for civil liberties are “morally bankrupt” and those who favor indefinite detention without being charged with a crime and with no prospect of having their status reviewed by any due process are lovers of freedom.

      That is a perfect example of what is known as “Orwellian”.  And sick.  And a harbinger of the end of the USA as we have known it.

  • Jasoturner

    A stain on America and her principles.  I find it difficult to believe that these “worst of the worst” cannot be effectively prosecuted in the United States, or deported to their counties of origin, without putting the U.S. at undue risk.  Plus, some of these guys might well have been innocent, yet imprisoned for a decade.  How the hell do you square that with human morality?  I don’t think you can.

    • brettearle

      If one can make a case that Military Tribunals increase US security in the long run, then one can make the case for detention without due process.

      Nevertheless, it is a PR fiasco and an ideological double-standard.

      However, is it not true that some, who have been released, have been implicated in subsequent terrorist activities?

      Or is that unsubstantiated Right Wing propaganda? 

      • DrewInGeorgia

        No case can be made for detention without due process.

        • brettearle

          I agree.

          But I was referring to something somewhat different.

          I was referring to a world where there’s an increase in Asymmetrical Wars [which is possible]. 

          After all, these detainees, for the most part, are connected to Asymmetric Wars.

          I was therefore referring to where a case could be made in the Future–wherein the Law would need to be changed.

          I am NOT necessarily condoning such a law.

          I was only bringing up a point of view–though unlikely–that could garner strength in the Future.

          I should have been clearer and should not have depended on others picking up the implications of what I was saying.

        • CptRon

          They arent US citizens, thats enough of a case for me. 

          • DrewInGeorgia

            Because if they aren’t US citizens they are less than human right?
            Some favor evolution, some regression. Which side of the coin do you fall on?

          • CptRon

            Non US citizens being held off US soil dont get the protections of the constitution, its really that simple. 

          • Tyranipocrit

             wrong. its not that simple.  Yoiur mentality is so primitive and barbaric and the root of terrorism.  What makes you so special?  if we dont uphold the same beliefs and laws for non-citizins than our own so called convictions are meaningless.

          • brettearle

            NOT all the same privileges and rights of the Consititution and the Bill of Rights are accorded Gitmo prisoners and Enemy Combatants.

            It is you, who is partially wrong.

          • Tyranipocrit

            an enemy combatant is BS–its doublespeak nonsense. They are either criminals or aoldiers of war–as such they deserve and require by law a fair trail and to be treated with some level of dignity–not tortured–that is nazi behavior–something we resolved after WW2. how soon some people choose to forget–perhaps some people were naziz all along–eh-hum, the bush and cheney families.

          • CptRon

            “if we dont uphold the same beliefs and laws for non-citizins than our own so called convictions are meaningless.”

            So we should allow non citizens to vote, hold office and purchase weapons? 

          • Tyranipocrit

            nice try at a deflection–totally irrational and abusrd however. Your thinking is puerile. No–i’m talking about human rights, civil rights, courtesy, rule of law…dignity, honesy, trust…and No americans should be able to purchase weapons. GUyns should be illegal outside highly controlled gun clubs, perhaps operated by national guard or military reserves or something.

          • Tyranipocrit

             barbaric and asinine.

          • Tyranipocrit

             nazis thought the same way–you are not an aryan–you must be dstroyd.  so who is evil?

      • Tyranipocrit

         how exactly do you make the case for detention without due process?  whats next–all heathens will be detained?  Your view becomes hte only view and ll others are criminals or terorrists.  How very primitive and stupid  and evil.

        • brettearle

          I didn’t say that I, MYSELF, was making the case.

          And I wouldn’t, at all, necessarily.

          But I AM saying that a case could be made–whether you, or I, like it or not.

          How VERY stupid and primitive of you, not to read my comments, below–to DrewInGeorgia–that explains my comment above.

  • JGC

    It is hard to wrap my mind around the legality of having a military detention center in a country that is a political enemy of the U.S.    Why not also extend the Guantanamo franchise to Iran and North Korea?  Maybe the U.S. could sign a 100-year lease with Kim Jong Un to hold our military detainees at Camp 14? 

    • hennorama

      JGC – you’re getting tripped up by the logic vs. politics conflict. Logic and politics seldom coincide, unfortunately.

  • Gregg Smith

    Gitmo was never going to be closed. If Obama ever thought it was possible then he is more naive than I thought. But he had to have known it was just empty rhetoric during the campaign. 

    • jimino

      Maybe he just underestimated how persuasive the Republican argument that Americans are to cowardly and incompetent to house these prisoners like we do others would be with people like you. 

      That IS the argument for not housing them on U.S. soil, isn’t it?

      • Gregg Smith

        Not at all.

        • jimino

          Oh, I see I left out “it’s seen as Obama’s proposal so we can’t support it no matter what.”

          Anything else you can offer as a rationale?

          • Gregg Smith

            It’s in the best interest of national security to leave Gitmo open. It was built for the purpose it’s serving. It’s vitally important.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Yep. I hear people escape from Leavenworth every day.

      • John_in_Amherst

        Twain said that courage is not the absence of fear, but the mastery of it.  But then he wasn’t referring to “mastering fear for political gain”.  That would be Goehring…and the GOP.

    • brettearle

      It’s possible that Obama’s naivete got the best of him and that he was betrayed by GOP insiders–who made a kind of “October Surprise” deal [if I'm using that term somewhat appropriately, here], with him, for quid pro quo reasons. 

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Naive?

        Obama’s not everything I want in a Democrat, but who saw this gobstopper GOP Congress coming?

        The more ordinary things get stoppered to a fare-thee-well in Congress, the more our Beltway Inbreds talk about Obama being too “lefty”, “unconciliatory”, “the guy Boehner and McConnell don’t want to have a drink with”, too “divisive”.

        Tone and language aside, what’s to do differently in the age of “60IsTheNew51″ so ensconced that our press corps doesn’t even remember when they were chanting “UpOrDownVote” for Bush II during the ’00s?

        • brettearle

          I am referring, specifically, to a scenario [which, I admit, is likely implausible]– regardless of Tea Party mentality and when that exerted an influence.

          Any Democrat in Washington, who enters into a side deal with a Republican, in Washington–after 1992–had better watch his back. 

          The no-trust policy, with the GOP, should have been a Red Flag a long time ago.

          The emergence of the Tea Party radicals has only made it worse.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Yeah, that’s a possibility, and a good point.

            But you know me: Nothing ever happens in DC without the allowance or resistance of a press which has largely tilted the playing field. Those goalposts don’t move all by themselves.

          • brettearle

            If you are referring to Right Wing Media, then you are preaching to the Choir.

            I couldn’t agree with you more.  I have a lot to say on that subject.

            But if we look at 1992–when the GOP had watched the Reagen era come to an end [translated, there were no more VPs who could run on RR's apron strings] and the GOP had already acted, for years, like unmonitored children in a candy factory–they were furious that Clinton had ruined their party [and, likely, hated Perot, even more].

            What’s more, they were even more enraged that Clinton outsmarted them [Triangulation, et al].

            At that point the GOP/DC ego was so bruised that they were going to seek revenge and slowly give new meaning to the word, `recalcitrance.’

            The GOP is still steaming from the notion that “The Reagen Revolution” was supposed to be:

            Full-proof and Eternal.

            It doesn’t work that way.

            [Even if AM Talk Radio lives in dysfunctional denial.]

    • alsordi

      At some point in time, a united consortium of south and central american countries will demand its removal.  This will happen when the US fiat dollar ponzi scheme finally collapses and the US can no longer afford to maintain 800 bases around the world to keep their ponzi scheme going.

    • hennorama

      Gregg Smith The Amazing Time Traveling Mind Reader makes yet another “Obama knew/Obama knows … / Obama thought/Obama thinks …” claim.

      Well done, sir.

      Please take a bow, then please let us know when your next performance will be, won’t you?.

      • Gregg Smith

        I left open the possibility he could have been naive, but that’s awful naive. Stupid as hell in fact. Sorry, it deserves no bow. Anybody with any sense at all knew there was no way we could close Gitmo. We said it then but it wasn’t rocket science. And here we are.

  • Carol Rosenberg

    Good morning. The Miami Herald’s hunger strike tracker here: http://hrld.us/11mE8h2. Also, for additional reading, my Life Under Lockdown story: http://hrld.us/12JzbhF

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Thanks for the link.

      Do you have the website that tracks the Benghazi attack victims and their struggles to get their message out?  Thanks in advance.

      • DrewInGeorgia

      • jefe68

        I see hubris finds an early stage this morning. 

  • alsordi

    What is inhumanely kept under brutal incarceration in Guantanamo is the TRUTH that these prisoners could share with the free world.  

    The freedom, justice, democracy etc. etc. of the USA is a total fraud.   Just look at the hypocrisy of the two faced allegiance with Al CIAda. Look at Wall Street and banker bail out.  Look at the enormous shift in wealth.  The US needs external enemies to keep their own people frightened to speak the truth. 

    Commando police, military, and many secret services, private and public, armed to the teeth have hit the US suburbs… and the flag waving American lemmings cheer them on as heroes.   

  • DougGiebel

    To Tom and Guests:
    Could holding human beings who have been adjudged eligible to be set free amount to torture? Why isn’t forcibly tying down human beings and force feeding them against their wills considered to be tortune?

    • brettearle

      Has that 100% been fully proven?:  That the prisoners–by Law–are being held against their will, at this point?

      Force feeding could likely be considered torture.

      But does the LAW say so?

      You and I might consider it torture.  But the Law might not.

      • d clark

        By putting them at Guantanamo at first we attempted to place them outside of U.S. law. It was always the plan.

        • brettearle

          What you are suggesting is that Gitmo operates outside of all Federal Law–including all Framer documents.

          If that is what you are saying, I do not believe that is accurate.

          Show me where that is proven.

  • donniethebrasco

    Another Obama promise.

    • creaker

      All conservative ranting aside, Obama has just been a continuation of the Bush years.

  • donniethebrasco

    Obama is going to close Guantanamo.

    Someday, Someway.

    If the terrorists didn’t get in his way.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      You really gotta brush up on Congress’ role in this.

      • DrewInGeorgia

         He doesn’t brush up, he brushes off.

  • creaker

    How can one parade the US as a model of freedom and justice – when that’s not how we act?

    If don’t you don’t act like the good guys, how can you call yourself the good guys? And if these actions are rationalized as a “necessity”, how can we condemn any government that does this as a “necessity”?

    Sadly, our government standing up for freedom and justice is little more hypocritical posturing, and no more real than the propaganda that flows from other countries. And the defense that we are better than the “bad” places is little comfort. I’d like to live in a good and just nation, not one that is “less bad” than the other places.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      It’s on US, the citizenry. Where was our outrage when the Military Commissions Act of 2006 was enacted?
      I’m pretty sure most of us already know what
      Benjamin Franklin would have to say about it.

  • Rlphchng

    Force feeding is immoral. Can you picture the Brits force-feeding Ghandi? In such a constricted environment with so little control over their lives, DIGNITY
    is more important than life.

  • Shag_Wevera

    The shifting terms and definitions make it impossible to be ethical or even consistent.  Some wanted to call the Boston bombers “enemy combatants” to take away their rights.  What is Guantanamo exactly?  Is it right for it to exist with its current mandate?  Torture or advanced interrogation?

    It seems like we name things and acts and people in order to justify our behavior to ourselves. 

  • creaker

    What’s scary is some in Guantanamo were not held and tortured for anything they did, but only that they were a potential information source.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Is there one Republican who isn’t batshit crazy about Guantanamo? I mean, Lindsay Graham is a once-in-a-while poster child for “moderate”.

  • Dr David Nicholl

    I am listening to your programme in the UK and have been following the Guantanamo debate since it opened as we had similar problems in Northern Ireland and sadly the US has made all the same mistakes as the UK government made in the 1970s…except bigger. It seems inevitable that there will now be a significant number of deaths, either as a consequence of the hunger strike or through forcefeeding (see what happened in Michael Gaughan for example http://jurist.org/forumy/2006/06/guantanamo-and-medical-ethics.php as there seems little political appetite in the US for actually doing something to close it.

    Dr David Nicholl, Birmingham UK

    • William

       The drastic steps your country took to destroy the IRA worked in the end and pretty much destroyed the IRA.

      • Trond33

        Incorrect, time and generational shifts lessened the impact of the IRA.  Do not fool yourself, the IRA is still there, just not in the force it once was.  Civil strife and civil wars take generations to overcome.  Look at the US, as late as the 1920′s the KKK was lynching innocents with local, state and federal law enforcement looking the other way. 

        • William

           The IRA is there, but it was defeated. The KKK is still here but it was defeated.

  • creaker

    I don’t understand the whole “we can’t shut it down” thing – we release millions of people convicted of crimes, many of them violent, every single year.

    I think the larger reason is we would release people that could go on to show they never should have been there at all – otherwise they could just all be tried, convicted and imprisoned elsewhere.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      Bingo.

    • donniethebrasco

       Hug a terrorist.  Don’t worry, they might not kill you.  Hopefully they will kill someone else.

      If they kill you, then they should get a medal.

      • creaker

        The reason for Guantanamo is that whether or not those being held are terrorists is entirely irrelevant. 

  • creaker

    It’s interesting how we can fight so hard over the 2nd amendment – and just casually toss the rest.

  • donniethebrasco

    Give them the Nobel Peace Prize.  They did as much as Obama to earn it.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Put em’ somewhere else many are saying.
    Reverse Rendition? Yeah, that’s gonna help.

  • donniethebrasco

    Let them go.  They have to prepare for the next Boston Marathon.

  • Human898

    If we create more dangerous terrorists based on the injustice of holding people without trial foever or until they die, the danger of releasing those in GITMO poses is moot. In addition, once released, and the prison closed down there is no justification to point out the hypocrisy or injustice of the U.S. which is what is used by some to recruit more terrorists.

    • donniethebrasco

       We should put them in a halfway house next door to you.

      • Human898

        So if somneone points a finger at you and you get thrown into prison and have no access to a trial or justice, you would do what, be very happy?  Your family would be pleased?

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          You’re throwing actual thoughts into a black hole, I hope you realize. Your useful, accurate and cogent ideas are wasted on the person you’re responding to.

          • Human898

            Maybe they would begin to think a bit more if they found themselves in GITMO unable to get a trial that might determine their innocence or guilt?

          • donniethebrasco

             Then why doesn’t Obama do something about it?

            He is some hero.

            He is just a spineless preacher who gets a Nobel Peace Prize for winning an election.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            The undifferentiated “they”, I hold out hope for, as they may be persuaded. “Donnie”, I do not.

        • donniethebrasco

           Who are you saying is innocent?

        • donniethebrasco

           Do you believe that 9/11 was an inside job?

          Was the Boston Marathon bombing an insider job?

          Did Lee Harvey Oswald act alone?

          Do you believe the Holocaust didn’t happen?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            I’m surprised it took you this long to win today’s Godwin Award.

  • donniethebrasco

    Bury Tamerlan in Cambridge.  Right in Harvard Yard.

    • harverdphd

       …I like that….

  • donniethebrasco

    Stop chasing the Nazi war criminals.  They have suffered enough.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Time to switch to decaf, bub.

      Whatever goal you’re aiming at in quantity isn’t going to help your quality.

      • donniethebrasco

         Liberal group think.

        There is no evil in the world.  Terrorists just need a hug.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          I see it’s word salad time.

          • donniethebrasco

             Why doesn’t Obama close Gitmo?  Because he knows that it is a bad idea.

          • Tyranipocrit

             because he is a puppet for the 1%–those responsible for terrorism.

        • Human898

          So if I accuse you of doing something terrible, the world should simply believe me?  I don’t have to provide proof or evidence and you shouldn’t be allowed to defend your innocence?

          Maybe you would prefer to live in a place where they have such a system of “justice”?

          • donniethebrasco

             Are you one of those people who says that the Holocaust didn’t happen?

            Do you believe that 9/11 was an inside job?

          • Human898

            I supposed you missed Nuremberg and that WWII is over?

          • donniethebrasco

             Do you believe the Holocaust happened or not?

            Do you believe that 9/11 was a terrorist attack or not?

            Don’t answer a question with a question.

          • Human898

            Do you believe in justice, as in proving people are guilty of some crime?

            I don’t know how you think anyone is denying the Holocaust with discussion of GITMO or that 9/11 was not a terrorist attack.

            What do you consider the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995 to be?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

             I’m surprised it took you this long to win today’s Godwin Award.

          • Ray in VT

            Do you deny the Holocaust, and do you still beat your wife?  Those are questions that I have yet to see you answer.

          • PeskyMonkey

            WTF does the holocaust have to do with closing Gitmo?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            I’m surprised it took you this long to win today’s Godwin Award.

        • Tyranipocrit

          What is a liberal?  There is tremendous evil in the world–most it is coming from america.  Lets do something about it.  Hold the 1% responsible and accountable.  Oh wait, you just want to give the 1% a hug.  So you are part of the problem.

    • jimino

      The Republican sales pitch on closing Guantanamo is that Americans are too stupid, cowardly and incompetent to take responsibility for these prisoners on our own soil and in our own courts and prisons.  I have always profoundly disagreed but if you are in any way indicative of an average American, maybe they have a point.

      • donniethebrasco

        I think it is Obama’s sales pitch now.

        Obama doesn’t agree with you.

        Call him the coward you want to.

      • Tyranipocrit

         cuba is not our soil.  Is that what you (or repbulicans) are saying?

    • jefe68

      Huburis, inanity, that’s what you seem to get off on.

  • Human898

    .

    • harverdphd

       ,

  • donniethebrasco

    There are lots of defense attorneys who are waiting to cash in on bringing Gitmo criminals to the US.

    The amount of income that will be made off of Jahar Tsarnaev will be in the MILLION$$$$.

    • brettearle

      Would you recommend an execution first and then a trial?

      How about–after Tsarnaev gets juiced and before the trial–we have you give up Revenge for LENT?

      • Gregg Smith

        The emphasis is no longer on capture and intelligence. One reason fewer detainees are being sent to Gitmo is because we are assassinating them instead… without a trail.

        • brettearle

          I guess that may be true….

  • donniethebrasco

    Obama is a spineless preacher.

    He knows if he closes Gitmo, innocent people will die.

    He won’t say why he isn’t closing it.   He just says it should be closed, but doesn’t do anything.

    • Human898

      No innocent people are dying now, as a result of what some people believe are the injustices of GITMO???  Ohh you didn’t think of that???

      Timothy McVeigh killed how many people in Oklahoma City in 1995, why? Was he angry at some injustice he had perceived?

      Do you believe John McCain should still be in the Hanoi Hilton because the North Vietnamese caught him bombing North Vietnam?

  • Captain Morgan

    Given that the US prison population is made up of murderers, woman beaters, child molesters, psychopaths, and the criminally insane that, is likely in the 100,000′s of thousands of bad guys it  is embarrassing that the American populace is terrified of some sheep herders and farmers and religious fanatics that had nothing better to do than throw a bomb or conducted a terrorist act driven by some notion of reconstituting the ARABIC Caliphate of 900 years ago or some equally wild eyed notion that the US is ever going to abandon its support for the Jewish state of Israel.

    also consider that there were 425,000 German POW’s in the US in 175 camps nationwide. A large portion of that population had to be Nazi diehard fanatics and no doubt Germans who “terrorized” Europe, had American Blood on their hands and almost were up to their eye balls in Jewish  blood, participating at some level in the “final Solution”
    contrast that with the fear of the GITMO crowd and here we are hiding under our beds  from what? Maybe 150 prisoners in GITMO?
     is any wonder that nobody takes the US serious and views us as a country to be feared and respected?
    Yikes?!!
    Can it ever get more paradoxically bizarre??

    • harverdphd

       Correction…your PRESIDENT  is terrified of them…your PRESIDENT…the American people would have fed them to sharks by now.

      • Tyranipocrit

        moronic and evil–this is what we are dealing with.  Democracy does need a lot of reform.  people like this need to be marginalized.

  • Trond33

    A society is judged by how it treats people – the USA is a warrior nation.  As such it is not surprising that the US implemented  Guantanamo Bay or has developed killer drones.  It is a myth that the US is a peaceful nation – look at all the violent crime that pesters the nation.  Look at the Boston bomber suspect who was killed and now people are even haunting him in death by refusing a burial spot.  

    No, unfortunately, for all the good aspects, the US has equal numbers evil aspects.  The US faces not only a political crisis, it has a larger societal moral crisis.  It is difficult to accept the US as a world leader when it harbor so much evil. 

    It begs the question, would the world be better off without a heavily militarized US?  — and please, refrain from the overly simplistic “if it was not for us, you guys be speaking German now,” comments.  

    • William

       It is a good question to ponder. I would like to see a smaller military which is only based in the USA or land overseas that we own. I don’t want to see us involved in Syria or any other country over in the Middle East. I would also eliminate most if not all foreign aid and leave it up to the UN or private NGO’s to take care of failed nations or disasters overseas. We should become like Japan. Make good products, keep our troops at home, and unless you want to buy something from us leave us alone.

      • harverdphd

         …and if attacked we will vaporize you.  Works for me…

        • Tyranipocrit

           idiot

      • Tyranipocrit

         We should close all military bases abroad, bring the troops home and use that money to fund domestic programs sucha s universal health care, green technology, co-ops, public education, infrastructure, greening the nation–weatherization and alternative energy programs and infrastructure, cleaning up superfunds and prosecuting polluters, but also to exapand the peace corps and aid abroad–we have decimated the world–its time to help and heal it and make friends rather than enemies.  Open dialogue with Iran and Venezuala and Cuba–drop food not bombs.  Supply them with medical supplies and get to wrok building lasting freindships withour hostile words and actions.  Terrorism over tomorow.  Oh wait one problem–the 1% love to make money killing and terrorizinf polluting and destroying–and they control the world.  Looks like we have to abolish the corporation and reign in the terrorists–the 1%.  Charge them with crimes against humanity, confiscat ethier assets and build cooperatives, force the executives to cleanu up thier contamination as prisoners indefeinetly–detainees–as enenmy combatants.  Then we can start to heal and build a prosperous society where people have jobs and menaing in their life with clean air and water and healthy food.  meanwhile the earth finds balance and climate change is halted.  But no, we bury our head sinn the sand while the 1% rape us over and over and over again..oooh.  And the republicans love it.

        • brettearle

          Your naivete, about the Enemy, is laughable–if it weren’t so pathetic.

          Nevertheless, there IS a great deal that the US needs to answer for–without question: 

          War Crimes; Human Rights Violations; Rendition; Undo Influence and Military Conflict to thwart opposing political ideology and to preserve resources.

          But that doesn’t mean we won’t always have dangerous enemies, who have the impetus to take us down–if only for their  condemnation of our way of life. 

          The challenge is not to eviscerate the rights and the privileges of our Democracy–in the face of a dangerous world, where Asymmetric wars, more and more, are being waged.

          • Tyranipocrit

            the enemy is the 1% and ignorant americans who know nothing and think their so big and bad.

    • harverdphd

       Your statement that, “unfortunately, for all the good aspects, the US has equal numbers evil aspects,” gives you away as a lightweight, as well as the rest of your banalities….and who is to judge a society….you?  Name address, phone number and credentials, please.

      • Tyranipocrit

        What is a lightweight?  Your comment is banal and meaningless.  You have said nothing.  You have contributed nothing.  Why waste your time writing it?  Yes…he can judge society.  And so can I.  And so can we all.  It’s called a democracy.  Why are you so offended?  At least Trond can examine his society–the first step toward progress and healing.  You cant.  You prefer the darkness–which make your lifestyle, your actions–evil.  

        Trond hits the nail on the head and is one of the few contributers to a worthwhile conversation on this site. 

        Get over it.  America is far form number one.  There  are few things and close to nothing America is number on e in–except mass murder and terrorrism.  But you prefer to bury your head inn the sand–the nature of a coward and a liar.

    • Bluejay2fly

      It’s a complex issue because while some nations benefitted directly from US military interventionism (IE Kuwait, Israel, or Bosnia) other nations profit from the billions of dollars our bases put into their economies (IE Japan, Germany, Italy, South Korea, and Kuwait). On the other hand we do step all over other nations sovereignty which is something we would never have tolerated in our own nation. I am retired Navy and have given this question much thought over the years ,and what I have concluded is that we have seriously neglected our back yard while playing global policeman. Our greatest gift to the world should be setting an example of just and sustainable living. If every nation followed our example of using natural resources the  planet would be dead in days. However, our Uber consumerism puts money into many nations pockets who provide us with energy or all the useless crap that winds up in a landfill 6 months to a year later. If we became more spiritual and less international many nations would be devastated financially while our own citizens would finally experience a rise in their quality of living. PS One final irony, we pay Cuba rent for the base at GITMO.

    • brettearle

      The question is, just as importantly,

      Would the US be better off?

  • asuka langley sohryu

    Poor, sweet Admiral Hutson’s parting words:
    “What are we fighting /for/?”
    What do we ever fight for?
    Access to resources abroad… Domestic political advantage… I’m scratching my head to think of some other reasons…

  • Fredlinskip

    Prisoners should be held until end of the War. 
    One day our glorious “War on Terror” will end and World will be at peace. 
    Our drone strikes will bring about this happiness.
    And the World will then thank us for our commitment to perpetual War and lay flowers at our feet.
    This is what our “leaders” would have us believe.

      Prisoners will die sooner or later- some of them may even be guilty of something.

  • gkgrunow

    Many thanks for your fine coverage of this critical situation. Guantanamo should be headline news in all the media; its existence is a shameful indictment of the US justice system and is doing nothing to advance the safety of the people of the United States.

  • bunchesoffluff

    “there may be..people..who can not be prosecuted for past crimes..because evidence may be tainted..but who..pose a threat to the united states..alkida terrorists and there affiliates are at war with the united states, and those who we capture must be prevented from attacking us agian…our government was defening positions that undermine the..law..to ensure that they are in line with the..law..my administation has begun to reshape the standards that apply to ensure..they are in line with the..law..for those that fall into this catagory..so that any prolonged detenition is.. justified..our goal is to construct a..legal framework for the remaining guantomo detainees that can not be transfered..when we determine that the united states must hold individuals to keep them from carring out an act of war we will do so..my admintionstation will..develope a legal regeim..there are people plotting to take american lifes..that will be the case..probiblity 10years from now”~obama according to obama explains the fema camps youtube video-watch it. why would obama think people who dont have evidence of them commiting a crime be a threat? maybe obama wants to detain innocents! reportedly nazis called jews a threat to national security. its illegal to detain people based on group name or affiliation(ex:alkida,us mil, nazi, jew, crip, blood)its illegal to detain someone for being vaguly labeled a terroristterrorist commenly=someone that someone is terrified of, or someone that attempts and succesffuly terrifys someone.terror=fear, an invisable emotion that only the individual knows if they are expirenceing.its illegal to detain people that have no physcial evidence that shows a 99%+chance of them commiting a crime-innocent until prooven guiltydont say we unless you are talking about you and at least 1 other person. plotting commenly=plan. its not illegal to plot.

  • bunchesoffluff

    immediatly arrest the force-feeders and charge them with abuse.
    if there is no physcial evidence(words arnt evidence) that shows a 99%+ chance the captive commited a crime-they must be immediatly released and the captors must be arrested and charged with kidnapping and owe the victim $65/day compensation.
    if there is evidence they commited a crime, they must be read their maranda rights, brought to public jury trial, and charged.
    all prisons and criminal court trails should be under 24-7live public video survailence and the public should be allowed to bring in video camreas.

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  • SomeGuyNamedMark

    America’s shame.  Our dirty not-so-secret skeleton.  I hope that when they have to release them they sue the US.

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