Closing Guantanamo in 2017
As on many past January 11ths, I’m here in Washington, D.C. fasting and working with Witness Against Torture to end torture and indefinite detention, and to close the prison at Guantanamo.
The connotation of “Close Guantanamo” has changed in recent years. Time was, most of the men detained there were innocent or irrelevant. Now, only 55 detainees remain: 19 approved for release, 3 convicted by military commission, 7 on trial before military commissions, and 26 considered too dangerous to release but can’t be put on trial (because the evidence against them wouldn’t be admissible).
So you might have different motivations to Close Guantanamo in 2017 vs. 2007.
In some ways this is the least important time to be worrying about Gitmo, a little prison with 55 inmates in a world full of so many bigger things to worry about. My own worry is that this will turn out to be the most important time to worry, as Donald Trump will soon become president after a campaign in which he enthusiastically embraced the expansion of Gitmo and torture.
Will my worries turn out to be premature and misplaced? I hope so.