Earlier this year President-elect Donald Trump stated that he would reverse any closure of Guantanamo Bay and would "load it up with bad dudes" if elected president, the Mirror newspaper reported. However, such a line of thinking is extremely controversial for what the prison facility has since become. I intend to investigate why Guantanamo Bay must be closed and why it is no longer serving the common good.
A brief history
First of all let us provide some historical context. Guantanamo was established in 2002 by the ##bush administration in the aftermath of 9/11. It was created to "detain extraordinarily dangerous people" according to wikipedia, and to "prosecute detainees for war crimes". However, despite this, the facility has come under severe criticism from numerous sources. The Independent newspaper claimed that it was created by those "swept up" on Bush's so called "war of terror". Riding this wave of public pressure to see revenge for 9/11, with its location in ##Cuba, Guantanamo was perceived, as the Aclu website reported, as an "island outside the law".
The many criticisms
Another criticism levelled at the American government was the treatment and conditions of the inmates at the camp. The Independent newspaper reported that within the first two years since it was opened it was revealed that inmates were subjected to "torture and sexual humiliation". Furthermore, in October 2003, the Red Cross stated that they had noticed a "worrying deterioration" in the mental health of the men housed there. Another criticism waged has been that of the infringements to the human rights of the detainees. In the wake of 9/11, ##amnesty International stated that Bush argued that the safety and security of the nation "overrode the obligation to respect human rights".
Positive attempts made
It is because of such claims made that there have been continual calls for the facility to be closed, none more so than President Obama. In his Presidential campaign eight years ago Obama pledged to close Guantanamo. Even earlier this year Obama stated that keeping the Bay open is "contrary to our values", according to USA Today. In the Mirror newspaper, Obama also stated that "Guantanamo Bay does not advance our national security. It undermines it". It can also be claimed that progress has been made with the numbers at the facility. Whilst 775 detainees have been brought to Guantanamo over the years, today that number is only 60.
Despite such efforts made Guantanamo is still open and what is of most concern is the actions of the President-elect Donald Trump. In addition to his comments made to 'load it up with bad dudes', his job appointments are equally worrying. The Telegraph newspaper stated that Trump appointed Mike Pompeo as director of the CIA. It is important to mention that Pompeo shares Trump's view that the detention camp "should not be closed".
Why it must be closed
Despite such efforts, it is imperative that Guantanamo Bay be closed. It not only seriously breaches fundamental human rights but the world has moved on from 9/11. Against the backdrop of a resurgent Islamic State (IS) and also Al-Qaeda, the fight is much bigger now. What can be done in the 'war of terror' by keeping sixty inmates at Guantanamo? It clearly no longer serves its purpose. And it also severely damages the reputation of the United States (US). Heralded as a decent nation where freedom, democracy and basic human rights were respected, in light of their response to 9/11 they clearly are no more. I understand the pressure upon Bush to act and maybe it originally served some purpose in showing that action was being taken, but those days are behind us. Going forward, Guantanamo must be closed for the good of American and for the world itself.