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

(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.

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)
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Even if Guantanamo seemed justified to some people in the immediate aftermath of the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, those justifications are wearing thin. - New York Times

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