Michelle Shephard is the national security reporter for the Toronto Star. Her involvement with Guantanamo Bay has been extensive. Her newly published book “Decade of Fear” consolidated 10 years of Shephard’s “reporting from terrorism’s grey zone.” I highly recommed it. Regarding Guantanamo, she has primarily reported on the detainment of Omar Kadhr - a Canadian. Her book provides a chilling reality of how journalists themselves are treated at the facility. Finally, Shephard writes in today’s article that the closing of Guantanamo is not in sight for this year.
Amnesty International has long been advocating the shutting down of Guantanamo Bay. They summarize its human rights violations as such, “shocking abuses, including arbitrary and secret detentions, torture and ill-treatment, renditions, and unfair trials.”
Today, on the 10th anniversary of its opening, Amnesty writes on the failure of the U.S. government to close the “notorious prison.”
“In 10 years, only one of the 779 detainees held at the base has been transferred to the USA for prosecution in an ordinary federal court. Others have faced unfair trials by military commission. The administration is currently intending to seek the death penalty against six of the detainees at such trials.”
For a counter argument on why Guantanamo is needed read Edwin Meese II’s article for CNN.
“There have been 779 detainees at Guantanamo. Today, there are only 171. But over the past decade, we have not only kept dangerous terrorists at Guantanamo and thus away from the battlefield, we have learned a great deal from them during long-term, lawful interrogations. Without a safe, secure detention and interrogation facility, we would not have gained the tactical and strategic intelligence needed to degrade and ultimately defeat the enemy.”
New York Times, “Give Guantanamo Back to Cuba” by Jonathan M. Hasen