Closing Guantanamo Bay 1
Advantages of the transfer. 6
Risk of the detainees returning to terrorism. 6
Civil war in the countries where the detainees are to be transferred. 7
Fear among members of the communities nearby proposed transfer sites. 7
The question of integrity and indefinite detention 7
Proposed Transfer Sites 8
The Guantanamo Bay is a prison facility that has raised numerous concerns in the United States on the operation and running of the facility. It is one of the facilities created by former president of the United States George Bush, to combat the enemies of the states, terrorists, and prisoners of war. Lawmakers and communities have opposed the transfer of the detainees from the prison due to negative implications it presents to both the American society and globe at large. President Obama believes that the process will relieve the government enormous taxpayers' money consumed by the facility each year. However, oppositions believe that transfer of detainees is against the law which President Obama signed and prevented transfer of detainees into American soil.
Guantanamo Bay is a prison structure located in Guantanamo. It is a structure that has faced a lot of critique from the society for its edibility and the acceptance of its scope of performance for over ten years. The prison has been stated by researchers to have undermined the national security of the United States at large. However, the proposal by President Obama has not gone unnoticed by both the opposition and other political bigheads. The president first signed the executive order in 2009 to close the detention facility in Cuba (Lindsay, 2016). The detention facility as of January 2016 was said to have 91 detainees who are deemed as a threat to international security. The prison partially controlled by the US Navy, which has a base in Guantanamo has been said to hold war criminals since January 2002. President George. W. Bush initiated the project where he defined the facility to hold "enemy combatants" who were not to be accorded the protection provided by the Geneva conventions on prisoners of war. The detention facility was reported to have used $54 million for its construction, and installation of security system presents (Friedman, 2016). The paper shall discuss the proposition, the risk of the detainees returning to terrorism, civil war in the countries where the detainees are to be transferred, the question of integrity and indefinite detention and the proposed transfer sites.
On February 19, 2016, President Obama, made a statement and called for the closing of the Guantanamo Bay confinement facility, which he did after delivering a master plan to the Senate, which he termed as an issue that had eluded his presidency in his term. The blueprint came about after seven years since Obama declared the closure of the prison, which is meant to detain enemy combatants. The main agenda or master plan behind the process was to reduce the heavy burden the taxpayers have to carry to sustain the institution and develop other countries’ intelligence services. Obama described the act of closure will be a stepping stone towards global security as well as peace resolutions between affected countries. The blueprint of the process even after 7 years of discussion and developments still hits a dead end among the society members as well as the opposition. The act faced staunch opposition from the Republicans who term the closure as an illegal act and an act of injustice (Sullivan, 2010). The president stated that there was a need to transfer the enemies of the nation to a US prison, to have full control of the facility as well as facilitate plans to reduce the acts of terrorism in the United States. President Obama further stated that the closure and transfer of the detainees to the US would bring to an ultimate end the error of war and incompetent behaviors of the enemies of the state. The president asserted that the strategy the country was putting forward was not just about closing the Guantanamo Bay and plans on dealing with the current group of detainees. However, it was a closing chapter of history; Obama noted this during the short remarks he made at the state house (Friedman, 2016). Obama stated that keeping the Guantanamo facility open ran against the values highly upheld by the United States. These values include upholding the integrity of the states, which was greatly compromised by the institution. Other values greatly upheld by the United States are making the world a better place, taking responsibility as a superpower of events happening globally, empathy, respect to other nations as well as adding value to the world. Since US needs to uphold these values, the closure of the prison is defended by a few of these values and opposed by most. The president pointed that the situation undermined America's standing in upholding the rule of law in the world. Obama upheld that the plan was transferring the detainees to other countries while retaining those that deemed too dangerous to be transferred to other countries in a detention facility, not yet determined, in the United States (Lennon, 2015).
The republicans in congress went ahead to oppose the move by Barack Obama to relocate the prisoners to US soil, stating that the act did not provide decisive facts, which are required by the law quoting that "it was against the law to relocate terrorist prisoners to US soil." John Mc Cain, who is the chairperson of the Armed Service Committee, brought on a strong critique stating that the plan was not a convincing act of closing the Guantanamo Bay, and was not a well-placed plan to deal with future acts of terrorism as well as terrorist detainees (Lindsay, 2016) ). The reason why it was not convincing was because it was overruling a law that the president himself had approved which was catastrophically wrong. A reform of the law needed to be tabled in front of the relevant committees to ensure that the United States law accommodated the process.
The Republican lawmakers stated that the act of transferring detainees was a representation of President Obama's "vague menu of options,” since; Obama had approved two bills; the defense authorization as well as the defense appropriation which at stake banned the relocation of the prisoners from Guantanamo prison (Sullivan, 2010).
Advantages of the Transfer
The transfer of the detainees from Guantanamo detention facility, according to officials, will save the government of United States an average of $65 and $85 million every year (Friedman, 2016). President Obama also cited that the high cost of keeping the prisoners in Guantanamo facility was one of the reasons for the closure of the facility (Friedman, 2016). In essence, America will also be able to monitor different countries and help them strengthen their intelligence on the combat of terrorism rather than "baby feeding" them whenever they are under threat or attack from terrorist groups. This will upgrade international intelligence and independence of many states globally.
Risk of the Detainees Returning To Terrorism
Lawmakers at large have placed out that the act of closure of the Guantanamo Bay is a high risk, as there is no guarantee that the prisoners will not return to acts of terrorism or take revenge missions on the people who placed them in detainment (Lindsay, 2016). A vivid example is the arrest of terrorist in Spain by both the intelligence services of Spain and Morocco. Among the arrest was one who had spent time in Guantanamo prison and his release from the prison was unclear. Since the person had gone to Guantanamo prison and yet returned to terrorism, it is not clear whether the other detainees will not engage in terrorism in a case where they free from the transfer. This will be a case of the international threat as the assailants are known to have been converged from all over the world and they can, therefore, plan attacks anywhere in the globe (Ivey, 2009).
Civil War in the Countries Where, the Detainees Are To Be Transferred
It is also argued that since most of the inmates are of Yemeni nationalities, it will be a strenuous exercise to deport the prisoners of war since the country has not yet stabilized (Friedman, 2016). Yemen still faces an unwavering security situation, and civil war has persisted in the country due to the staunch opposition by the al Qaeda group, which is located in the Arab peninsula. The released prisoners from Guantanamo prison have been said to have joined the AQAP after leaving the facility; hence, questioning the credibility of Obama's act of transferring the detainees to their countries (Lennon, 2015).
Fear among Members of the Communities nearby Proposed Transfer Sites
The process has also undergone a lot of critique from the communities around the proposed federal facilities, which has been pointed out as the probable sites for the detainment of the prisoners. The fear arises in the citizens of the US as whether or not the act compromises of their peaceful lives and security of the community. The Republicans have endorsed the communities in questioning on the measures put aside that will ensure the lives of the Americans are placed at no risks of attacks in cases of attacks (Friedman, 2016).
The Question of Integrity and Indefinite Detention
The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) pointed out that Obama's plan to relocate detainees is a too late plan (Lennon, 2015). CCR argues that the overall plan of moving detainees who have never been and will never be charged with any crime does not reflect to "closing Guantanamo" but it just relocates it to a new location. CCR believes that the closure of Guantanamo should be based on the disbandment of the immoral and illegal stakes of regimes, which are based on the indefinite detention (Sullivan, 2010).
Proposed Transfer Sites
The US officials pointed out that there are 13 proposed transfer sites for the detainees of the Guantanamo prison. The officials pointed out that there were funding restrictions and the Pentagon planners could not place an actual value of the conversion of present facilities to detention sites(Ivey, 2009). The options presented for the housing of the detainees were inclusive of the Federal Super-max Penitentiary, which is located in Florence Colorado. The military security prison, which is located in Leavenworth Kansas and the Marine Consolidated Brig, that is in Charleston South Carolina. Officials from the Pentagon had visited the sites in 2015 to develop a prototype of the plans placed in converting the sites to detention prisons (Lindsay, 2016). Other military and federal prisons have also been mentioned as being on the list of to be converted into detention units though no specific facility had been selected (Friedman, 2016). The congressional language that has been given the responsibility of mandating the plan stated that there needed to have a specific facility stated to implement the action as well as discussing the legalizing of the Act (Lennon, 2015).
In Conclusion, Guantanamo Bay closure is a plan that seems to be heading in no direction from the discussed agendas. The opposition offered by the Republicans in implementing the Act slows the process by a great margin (Lindsay, 2016). The "bending" of the law required to ensure that this process succeeds seems unachievable from all directions. By realizing the benefits and the risks associated with the transfer of the inmates from the Guantanamo prison, Americans will be able to realize whether the act will be of help to them or not. The risk stands as whether to continue spending the huge taxpayers' money in detaining the terrorists in a foreign land or risking them in our own land, United States of America. The weight imbalance of the two options seems to favor the status quo in the Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. The critiques and the advantages far much outweigh the advantages.
Friedman, B. (February 26, 2016). Gitmo. Still Open. Still a 'Stain on the U.S.': 'BradCast' 2/25/2016. The Brad Blog, 2016-2.
Herman, A. (2015). Why Hasn't Obama Closed Gitmo? Commentary, 139(4), 23-28.
Ivey, M. (2009). A framework for closing Guantanamo bay. Boston College International and Comparative Law Review, 32353.
Lennon, C. (2015). Detainees in the global war on terrorism aboard Guantanamo bay. Touro Law Review, 31(4), 1013-1041.
Lindsay, J. M & Council,. F. R.. (February 26, 2016). Campaign 2016 Friday Foreign Policy Roundup: Closing Guantanamo Bay and Walling Off Canada. The Water's Edge, 2016-2.
Sullivan, S. (2010). Closing the loop on Guantanamo. Tulane Journal of International and Comparative Law, 19247.