Saturday, November 1st, 2014

President Obama's promise to close Guantanamo Bay Detention Center: Broken

A group of detainees kneels during an early morning Islamic prayer in their camp at the U.S. military prison for "enemy combatants" in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. President Barack Obama approved the resumption of military trials for detainees.
A group of detainees kneels during an early morning Islamic prayer in their camp at the U.S. military prison for "enemy combatants" in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. President Barack Obama approved the resumption of military trials for detainees.

On March 7, 2011, President Barack Obama signed an executive order making a number of changes to policies regarding those detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In a reversal of his previous policy, the order resumes military trials for Gitmo detainees. It also establishes a "periodic review" process for  for long-held Guantanamo detainees who have not been charged, convicted or designated for transfer, "but must continue to be detained because they 'in effect, remain at war with the United States,'" according to a White House fact-sheet.

White House officials maintain that the administration "remains committed to closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay" and makes the case that the policy changes are "in keeping with" the president's long-term strategy toward that end.

But many media outlets and civil rights groups viewed the actions as an acknowledgment by the administration that it cannot keep Obama's campaign promise to close the Guantanamo facility.

After more than two years in office, the possibility of keeping this extremely difficult promise seems even more remote now than when his presidency began. Even the experts we spoke to who argue this promise is merely stalled instead of broken acknowledge that it's unlikely Guantanamo will be closed by the end of Obama's four-year term. We have decided to move this to Promise Broken. See our full report here.