U.S. President Barack Obama vowed in 2009 to close America’s Guantanámo Bay military prison in Cuba. Five years later, GTMO remains open. Around 149 prisoners are still anguishing there without prospect of a trial that could free them.
Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, said that GTMO’s prisoners are not entitled protection under the Geneva Conventions. The U.N. said it should be closed.
The detention center’s infrastructure is crumbling. The prisoners are aging and medical facilities are limited. U.S. law doesn’t permit Guantanámo’s detainees to be transferred to the United States.
There are 79 officially rated “low level” detainees who are recommended for release to other countries under a resettlement policy, but that policy must still overcome major hurdles. Earlier this month, six “low level” detainees were ready to board a plane to Uruguay when the agreement fell apart at the last minute.
- David Remes, former lawyer for some of the detainees
- J.D. Gordon, conservative columnist and retired U.S. Navy officer
- Andy Worthington, film director,journalist and author of “The Guantánamo Files”
Our panel discussion continues.