Wednesday, Oct 07th

Last update10:27:39 PM GMT

You are here News Human Rights Gitmo's Troubling Afterlife: The Global Consequences of U.S. Detention Policy

Gitmo's Troubling Afterlife: The Global Consequences of U.S. Detention Policy

E-mail Print PDF

Gitmo detention policySenator Dianne Feinstein recently commissioned a Government Accountability Office report identifying prison facilities in the continental United States suitable for detainees currently held in Guantánamo Bay. After Fox News reported about this document, her office released a statement saying that the GAO's study "demonstrates that if the political will exists, we could finally close Guantánamo without imperiling our national security."

Independently, a coalition of advocacy groups sent President Obama an open letter on Tuesday urging him to veto the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act if it impedes the administration's ability to close Guantánamo.

Thus, though U.S. detention policy was not a contested part of the 2012 election, it may reemerge as a political issue. Benjamin Wittes of the Brookings Institution noted in his essential volume Detention and Denial that current public discussion of the issue represents "denial and obfuscation," in that "we pretend that noncriminal detention doesn't exist or that we're phasing it out" rather than facing the daunting task of reforming it.

The early stages of this new round of wrangling over detention policy, unfortunately, seem to represent another step in the direction of denial rather than toward reform.

At the outset, let's not pretend that physically moving Guantánamo detainees into the United States addresses any of the reasons noncriminal detention has been controversial. True, moving the location of detention removes the physical symbol of Gitmo, which has a great deal of resonance internationally. But the substance of the policy would not change if detainees were housed in Illinois rather than Guantánamo. The same laws, rules of evidence, and construction of presidential power would remain even if the location shifted. Yet this renewed debate is largely shaping up as an argument over where detainees should be held.


Most Recent Related Stories...

MSF: US raid on Afghan hospital an 'attack on Geneva Conventions'

Attack on hospital war crimeA U.S. airstrike on an Afghan hospital that left 22 dead was an "attack on the...

Yemeni man denied apology from US for drone strike that killed his family

No apology to Yemeni man who lost his famlyFaisal bin Ali Jaber came to recognize that in his case, justice was not realistic. The...

Israel bars Palestinians from Jerusalem's Old City

Israel bars Palestinians from Old CityIn an unprecedented measure, Israeli police barred Palestinians from Jerusalem's Old City on Sunday in response...

How US immigration officers use dubious ID papers to deport people

Deportation fraudsIn March 2013, Patrice Talbot was taken out of York County Prison in southern Pennsylvania and...
America's # 1 Enemy
Tee Shirt
& Help Support!
TVNL Tee Shirt
Conserve our Planet
& Help Support!
Get your 9/11 & Media
Deception Dollars
& Help Support!
The Loaded Deck
The First & the Best!
The Media & Bush Admin Exposed!