Obama’s Guantánamo Bay: Still up and running one year after pledge to shut it down

Prisoners held without charge or trial.

That’s the reality of Guantánamo Bay detention center. That’s the fact that is lost is the political panic of sending detainees anywhere — whether it’s to Yemen or to Illinois. Last year, President Obama pledged to close this detention center, yet we are no closer to this than before he was elected to office. “Guantánamo” remains a major rallying point for those who despise the United States.

The Center for Constitutional Rights has a nifty scorecard for those of you who still care about the Constitution. It includes these facts:

  • Total Habeas Cases Decided: 41
  • Habeas Cases Granted: 32
  • Habeas Cases Denied: 9
  • Habeas Granted and Released: 20
  • Habeas Granted and Still Detained: 12
  • Current Guantanamo Population: 198

Habeas referring, of course, to Habeas corpus, mentioned in Article I, Section 9, clause 2 of the United States Constitution, which states:

The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

And habeas corpus being one of the most fundamental principles of a democracy — your right to be charged and to released if there is no charge. It is a common law concept that is essential to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is to protect these rights that is the very essence of what our men and women are dying for around the world.

Yet yesterday was the 9th anniversary of  Guantánamo Bay’s new role in the era of terrorism:

Prisoners held without charge or trial.


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