An isolated US navy base in Guantanamo Bay was converted to a detention camp on October 7, 2001, specifically for holding enemy combatantsâ€™ in our War On Terror.Â More crucially however, the Justice Department has declared that theÂ camp falls outside the jurisdiction of the United States, and former President Bush announced that detainees there would not be accordedÂ the privileges accorded to war prisoners as detailed in the GenevaÂ Convention.
Guantanamo has been the scene of some of the worst human rights violations in the western world in recentÂ years, and has continually proved to be a legal, political and publicÂ relations nightmare for the country. Nevertheless, defense andÂ intelligence officials argues strongly that the facility providesÂ them a great advantage in the ongoing war on terror, and the loss ofÂ it would impede ongoing and future counter-intelligence activities.
President Obamaâ€™s pledge to shut downÂ the facility was one of his major campaign promises, and soon afterÂ taking office, he followed it up with an announcement, assuring theÂ public that it would be closed within the year. He has yet to fulfillÂ the promise, with the latest setback being the passing of theÂ Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2009 by the US Senate, effectivelyÂ blocking any federal funding towards prisoner transfers to AmericanÂ holding facilities.
â€˘Â I would bring all prisoners before tribunals and give them a fair trial.Â Sentence the guilty and set the innocent free.