Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Obama Doesn't Close Guantanamo Bay Prison
The NYT opined this in November, 2012:
On his second full day in office in 2009, President Obama signed an executive order that was a declaration of American renewal and decency hailed around the globe. It called for the closure, in no more than a year, of the detention camp at the United States Naval Station at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba — the grim emblem of President George W. Bush’s lawless policies of torture and detention. Accompanied by other executive orders signaling a break from the Bush era of justice delayed and denied, it was a bold beginning. What followed was not always as uplifting. The new administration decided to adopt the Bush team’s extravagant claims of state secrets and executive power, blocking any accountability for the detention and brutalization of hundreds of men at Guantánamo and secret prisons, and denying torture victims their day in court.
Today the NYT says this:
The announcement that no senior official in President Obama’s second term will succeed Mr. Fried in working primarily on diplomatic issues aimed at repatriating or resettling detainees appeared to signal that the administration does not currently see the closing of the Guantánamo Bay prison as a realistic priority, despite repeated statements that it still intends to do so. Mr. Fried will become the department’s coordinator for sanctions policy and will work on issues including Iran and Syria. . . . Mr. Fried’s special envoy position was created by the Obama administration in early 2009, shortly after Mr. Obama took office and promised to close the military prison in his first year. Mr. Fried spent several years traveling the world overseeing the repatriation of low-level detainees and persuading other countries to resettle detainees who had been cleared for release but who could not be sent home. But the flow of detainees out of Guantánamo has slowed almost to a halt as Congress has imposed a series of restrictions on transfers, leaving Mr. Fried with less to do. He was eventually assigned to work on resettling a group of Iranian exiles who were members of a group known as the M.E.K. in a refugee camp in Iraq, in addition to his Guantánamo duties.