For most Americans, the detention center at Guantanamo Bay—once the topic of heated political debate by presidential hopeful Barack Obama but rarely talked about by the incumbent President Obama—has become a footnote in the government’s ongoing war on terror. Yet for the approximately 167 detainees still being held in that godforsaken gulag, 86 of whom have been cleared for release yet continue to be imprisoned at the facility, Guantanamo Bay is a lesson in injustice, American-style.
Guantanamo prison is everything that those who founded America vigorously opposed: kidnapping, torture, dehumanizing treatment, indefinite detention, being “disappeared” with no access to family or friends, and little hope of help from the courts.
Ten years after opening for business, Guantanamo Bay stands as a manifestation of America’s failure to abide by the rule of law and its founding principles in the post-9/11 era.
In 2008, the US Supreme Court ruled in Boumediene v. Bush that Guantanamo prisoners are guaranteed a “meaningful opportunity” to challenge their continued imprisonment. Despite this ruling, indefinite detention is still the norm at Guantanamo. The Obama administration shares the blame for this state of affairs. Having once promised to abolish Guantanamo, the president has now urged the U.S. Supreme Court to avoid reviewing Guantanamo detainees’ appeals. The Bush torture program has been legitimized by the Obama administration, and indefinite detention has been codified as law. Guantanamo bleeds our coffers, costing $800,000 a year per detainee.
This place claims to be a abiding the rules and giving fair treatment but they clearly are not. Despite these obvious warning signs of a coming authoritarian state, a CNN poll from 2010 indicates that 60 percent of Americans would like Guantanamo to remain open.
Title: Guantanamo Bay: The model for an American Police State?
Source: Global Research, September 30, 2012
Author: John W. Whithead
Student Researcher: Blake Aldrete, Sonoma State
Faculty Evaluator: Carl Pohlhammer, Monterey Peninsula College,