In September 2009, I visited Guantánamo Bay, where in the recreation yard of Camp Delta—near the Foosball tables and elliptical trainers—I saw President Obama’s executive order directing the facility to be closed by January 22, 2010, posted for all the detainees to see. January 22, 2011 marks the one-year anniversary of Guantánamo’s “closure.” Thankfully, that executive order was never carried out. Gitmo remains open for business and, I am informed by a Pentagon spokesman, President Obama’s executive order remains posted on that bulletin board in the Camp Delta recreation yard. Far from closing Guantánamo, the administration is ramping up activity there. The New York Times reported Thursday:
The Obama administration is preparing to increase the use of military commissions to prosecute Guantánamo detainees, an acknowledgment that the prison in Cuba remains open for business after Congress imposed steep new impediments to closing the facility.”
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is expected to soon lift an order blocking the initiation of new cases against detainees, which he imposed on the day of President Obama’s inauguration. That would clear the way for tribunal officials, for the first time under the Obama administration, to initiate new charges against detainees. Gitmo, it seems, won’t be shutting down anytime soon. To mark the anniversary of the detention center’s non-closure, the Enterprise Blog has asked several experts to weigh in on the importance of Guantánamo Bay, how it has contributed to our national security, and what its future may hold: [cliccate sui nomi evidenziati per leggere gli articoli]
• Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey has been a strong supporter of Guantánamo, both during his tenure at the Justice Department and since leaving office.
• Paul Rester served as director of the Joint Intelligence Group at Guantánamo Bay, which oversaw interrogations at the facility, from October 2005 to November 2010. He has over 35 years experience in military intelligence and has personally questioned some of the most hardened terrorists held at Guantánamo.
• Kyndra K. Rotunda was an Army JAG lawyer and military commissions prosecutor at Guantánamo, and currently teaches law at University of California, Berkeley, and Chapman University. She is the author of Honor Bound: Inside the Guantánamo Trials (Carolina Academic Press, June 2008).
• Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) is a member of the Senate Republican leadership and serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
• Arthur Herman is a Visiting Fellow at AEI and wrote a seminal article in defense of Guantánamo for Commentary Magazine.
• John Yoo is a Visiting Fellow at AEI and served as a deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice, is a professor of law at the University of California Berkley, and the author of Crisis and Command: The History of Executive Power From George Washington to George W. Bush (Kaplan 2010).