Close Gitmo, Already
Time for Obama to make good on his promise, NYT says
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted May 1, 2013 4:08 AM CDT
In this Jan. 20, 2009 photo, USNavy Chief Petty Officer Bill Mesta replaces an official picture of outgoing President George W. Bush with that of newly-sworn-in President Barack Obama.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, Pool, file)

(Newser) – President Obama has once again vowed to make good on his promise to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center, but his actions fall far short of his words, the New York Times writes in an editorial. The center, as Obama admits, is a "blight on the nation’s reputation" that "mocks American standards of justice" and "has actually hindered the prosecution and imprisonment of dangerous terrorists," the Times writes, but the president doesn't appear to be treating the hunger strike like the serious crisis it is—nor is he heeding ethics groups who say forced feeding of detainees is a form of abuse.

If the president is serious about closing Guantanamo, the Times suggests that he follow two steps outlined by the ACLU: Appoint a senior official "so that closure policy is directed by the White House and not by Pentagon bureaucrats," and direct Chuck Hagel to start giving legally required waivers to transfer detainees who have been cleared. "The hunger strike is an act of desperation over policies even Mr. Obama says cannot be defended," the Times concludes. "It is his responsibility to deal with it—and close the prison." Click to read the full editorial.

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May 1, 2013 4:24 PM CDT
Congress should've resolved this ages ago. They need to stop working 3-day weeks and get busy resolving issues like this. Gitmo is as comical as Auschwitz. Try people, jail them or free them. But get it done. Gitmo enflames too many people against us.
May 1, 2013 1:54 PM CDT
So Obama has press conference vowing to close Gitmo. How? By persuading Congress to grant money to build or buy a prison here on US soil and start up civilian trials (the first one didn't go so well So if civilian trials were a bust, closing Gitmo simply means transferring the prisoners to a prison on US soil. Wait. Is that what we mean when we say we want Gitmo closed? That we object to these detainees being held in a prison camp in Cuba and would rather held in a prison in Michigan or the like? Dear Mr President, Stop talking like a politician. Try or release the unlawfully held prisoners.
May 1, 2013 8:14 AM CDT
Close the place. Give the inmates a bunch of tires and other flotsam and tell them to build rafts.