Closing Gitmo Isn’t an Open-and-Shut Case
Obama's plan ignores some harsh political realities
Pres. Barack Obama laid out a plan to close the notorious Guantanamo Bay this week. The 21-page document he sent to Congress calls for the transfer, imprisonment and trial by military commission of the remaining 91 detainees.
“For many years it’s been clear that the detention center at Guantanamo Bay does not advance our national security,” Obama said during a press conference following the plan’s release. “It undermines it.”
He’s right, but closing the prison is a political nightmare. Despite a precedent of prosecuting terrorists as criminals and keeping them in civilian and military prisons in the continental United States, many politicians view the closure of Guantanamo and the transfer of its detainees as a non-starter.
This week on War College we sit down with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Rhode to discuss Guantanamo Bay, Obama’s plan and how operating a legally ambiguous prison hurts America. Rhode has written extensively about the detainees, and said holding prisoners without trial violates the rule of law at America’s foundation.
What’s more, as a prisoner of the Taliban from 2008 to 2009, he saw how the group used Guantanamo as a propaganda tool.