Why Obama Has Failed to Close Guantánamo
At the Guantánamo military prison—a desolate place near the eastern tip of Cuba—detainees began a chant that grew louder as it spread: “Obama! Obama! Obama!” It was Election Night in November of 2008, and the returns had made it clear that Barack Obama had soundly defeated John McCain. The chant echoed from blocky concrete buildings arranged into camps, where “compliant” detainees watched television and took classes, and “non-compliant” ones passed their time in twelve-by-eight-foot cells. The sound of the chant stopped short of the top-secret Camp 7, where the C.I.A. held “high value” detainees, including five men charged with participating in the attacks of September 11, 2001. But at Camp Justice, which housed visiting defense lawyers and military prosecutors in facing rows of tin sheds, the lawyers formed a chain and mamboed through the prosecutors’ side, chanting their own refrain: “Hey, hey . . . goodbye!” The prosecutors evidently took offense: a shoving match broke out.