Close Guantanamo—Then Give It Back to Cuba

By Amy Goodman


This week marks the 13th anniversary of the arrival of the first post-9/11 prisoners to Guantanamo Bay, the most notorious prison on the planet. This grim anniversary, and the beginning of normalization of diplomatic relations between the U.S and Cuba, serves as a reminder that we need to permanently close the prison and return the land to its rightful owners, the Cuban people. It is time to put an end to this dark chapter of United States history.

“The detention facilities at Guantanamo for individuals covered by this order shall be closed as soon as practicable,” President Barack Obama wrote nearly six years ago, in one of his first executive orders, on Jan. 22, 2009. Despite this, the prison remains open, with 127 prisoners left there after Kazakhstan accepted five who were released on Dec. 30. There have been 779 prisoners known to have been held at the base since 2002, many for more than 10 years without charge or trial. Thanks to WikiLeaks and its alleged source, Chelsea Manning, we know most of their names.

Col. Morris Davis was the chief prosecutor in Guantanamo from 2005 to 2007. He resigned, after an appointee of George W. Bush overrode his decision forbidding the use of evidence collected under torture. Davis later told me, “I was convinced we weren’t committed to having full, fair and open trials, and this was going to be more political theater than it was going to be justice.” Obama did create a special envoy for Guantanamo closure, although the person who most recently held the position, Cliff Sloan, abruptly resigned at the end of December without giving a reason. In a just-published opinion piece in The New York Times, Sloan wrote, “As a high-ranking security official from one of our staunchest allies on counterterrorism (not from Europe) once told me, ‘The greatest single action the United States can take to fight terrorism is to close Guantanamo.’”

The U.S. has imposed a crushing embargo against Cuba for more than half a century, ostensibly to punish the small country for its form of governance. What kind of alternative does the United States show Cubans on that corner of their island that the U.S. controls? A hellish, military prison beyond the reach of U.S. laws, where hundreds of men have been held, most without charge, and many beaten and tortured.

President Obama rightly chastises Egypt for imprisoning three Al-Jazeera journalists, Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed. “They should be released,” Obama told reporters last August. Yet, sadly, Egypt only needs to look to the U.S. to determine acceptable treatment of Al-Jazeera journalists. Sami al-Hajj was a cameraman for the network. He was covering the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 when the Pakistani military picked him up and handed him over to U.S. forces. After 17 brutal days at Bagram Air Field, he was transferred to Guantanamo Bay, where he was held without charge for more than six years. He was tortured, beaten and humiliated. Al-Hajj went on a hunger strike for 480 days, and was subjected to forced feeding through nasal tubes. He was released in May 2008.

I sat down with Sami al-Hajj in December 2012 at Al-Jazeera’s headquarters in Doha, Qatar, where he was heading the network’s Human Rights and Public Liberties desk. He said the U.S tried to coerce him into spying while he was imprisoned:

“They [offered] to give me a U.S.A. nationality and take care about my family if I work with them in CIA to continue my job being journalist with Al-Jazeera, just send them information about the link between Al-Jazeera and al-Qaida and the terrorist people and some people in the Middle East. Of course, I refused to do that. I told them, ‘I’m journalist, and I will die as a journalist.’”

The United States knew he was innocent, but wanted him to spy on Al-Jazeera, so it subjected him to years of harsh imprisonment in an attempt to break him?

The United States took Guantanamo Bay by force in 1898, during the Spanish-American War, and extracted an indefinite lease on the property from Cuba in 1903. Returning Guantanamo Bay to Cuba will begin to right more than a century of wrongs that the U.S. government has perpetrated there. Most importantly, the return of the Guantanamo Bay prison and naval base will make it harder for any future war criminals, whether in the White House, the Pentagon or the CIA and their enthusiastic cheerleaders in Congress, to use Guantanamo as their distant dungeon, to inflict torture and terror on prisoners, many of them innocent, far from the eyes of the people of the United States, and far from the reach of criminal courts.

Denis Moynihan contributed research to this column.

Amy Goodman is the host of “Democracy Now!,” a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on more than 1,200 stations in North America. She is the co-author of “The Silenced Majority,” a New York Times best-seller.

182 thoughts on “Close Guantanamo—Then Give It Back to Cuba

  1. I actually have a tendency to come upon internet sites along these lines at the
    most unexpected instances. For instance at present, I was seeking something on an altogether different concern and I found this web site in its place.
    I typically appreciate scouting online for posts, but yet most commonly I like to be
    outdoors, backpacking in the regional woodlands. You’ll find nothing like outdoors to
    cause you to come to feel re-energized. This can be while i am not accomplishing work
    as an in-home massage therapist. It takes up just about all my spare

  2. I do not even understand how I finished up right here, however I believed this submit was once great. I do not recognise who you are however certainly you are going to a well-known blogger in the event you are not already 😉 Cheers!

  3. Two ticket-holders matched all the winning numbers iin Wednesday’s Powerball
    drawing, which suggests they willl split $632.6 million jackpot, the
    seventh-largest prize iin the lottery game’s history.

    my weeb page; Go here – Lorraine

  4. I’m excited to uncover this page. I want to to thank you for your time for this wonderful read!! I definitely enjoyed every bit of it and I have you saved to fav to check out new information on your blog.

  5. Can I simply say what a comfort to uncover somebody who really knows what they
    are discussing on the internet. You certainly know how to bring a problem
    to light and make it important. More people should look at this and understand this side
    of your story. I was surprised that you’re not more popular because
    you definitely possess the gift.

  6. Hi! I know this is kinda off topic however , I’d figured I’d ask.
    Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest authoring a blog post or vice-versa?
    My website discusses a lot of the same topics as
    yours and I believe we could greatly benefit from each other.
    If you might be interested feel free to shoot me an e-mail.

    I look forward to hearing from you! Great blog by the way!

  7. Excellent post. I was checking continuously this weblog and I’m impressed!
    Extremely helpful info specifically the remaining part 🙂 I maintain such info a lot.
    I was seeking this certain info for a long time.
    Thanks and best of luck.

  8. Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your website and
    in accession capital to assert that I acquire in fact enjoyed account your blog posts.

    Anyway I’ll be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement
    you access consistently quickly.

  9. To play, gamers merely hold the Wiimote and do their finest to sustain with the dancing figure on the display screen. You keep up
    with the most recent know-how; possibly even consider your self an early
    adopter. Resulting from differences in architectures and numbers of processor cores, comparing uncooked GHz numbers between completely different manufacturer’s CPUs,
    or even completely different fashions from the identical producer, doesn’t all the time let
    you know what CPU will be sooner. In case you weren’t impressed with the hearth-respiration CSP, which is
    able to someday use molten glass as a storage fluid (still cool),
    how about an air-respiration battery? Once we know
    the syntactic construction of a sentence, filling in semantic labels will turn out to be easier accordingly.
    Begin by filling out a centralized, all-encompassing holiday calendar for the
    weeks main up to, throughout and after the vacation. Now that we
    have received the heat, learn on to learn how the
    hair dryer gets that heat shifting. But as a substitute of burning innocent ants, the vitality is so intense it turns into hot enough to heat a fluid, typically molten salts,
    to someplace within the neighborhood of 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit
    (537.8 levels Celsius). What’s new within the vitality trade?

  10. A fascinating discussion is definitely worth comment. I do believe that you ought to publish more on this subject matter, it may not be a taboo subject but typically people don’t talk about these subjects. To the next! Many thanks!

  11. Just wish to say your article is as astounding.
    The clearness in your post is simply excellent and i can assume
    you’re an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission allow me to
    grab your RSS feed to keep updated with forthcoming post.
    Thanks a million and please keep up the rewarding work.

  12. I knw thіѕ iif offf toipic bbut Ι’m lookoing ibto
    startkng mmy ownn webloog andd wass curiious wha alll iss needeed tto
    gett setup? Ӏ’m assumiing havinng а blpog lije yors wpuld coswt ɑ prety penny?
    I’m nott vry webb skart sso І’m nott 100% certаin.
    Anyy suggestionhs oor advvice wluld bbe greatpy appreciated.
    Apprciate іt

  13. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post wasgood. I don’t know who you are but certainly you’re going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already😉 Cheers!

  14. Your style is unique in comparison to other people I’ve read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this page.

  15. Hello.This post was extremely interesting, especially since I was investigating for thoughts on thistopic last Monday.Feel free to visit my blog; eating healthier

  16. Good day! I just would like to offer you a big thumbs up for the great info you’ve got right here on this post. I’ll be coming back to your web site for more soon.

  17. When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get several emails with the same comment.Is there any way you can remove people from that service?Many thanks!

  18. I’ve been browsing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be a lot more useful than ever before.

  19. What’s up to every one, the contents existing at this web site are really awesome for people knowledge, well,
    keep up the good work fellows.

    My webpage; website

  20. What i do not realize is in reality how you’re now not actually a lot more well-favored than you might be right now.

    You are so intelligent. You know thus significantly in the case of this matter, produced me
    individually imagine it from numerous various angles.

    Its like men and women don’t seem to be involved unless it is something to do with Lady gaga!
    Your personal stuffs nice. All the time
    maintain it up!

  21. What’s Going down i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve foundIt absolutely useful and it has aided me out loads.I am hoping to contribute & assist different users likeits helped me. Great job.

  22. دکتر مریم کامی
    روانشناس بالینی و روان درمانگر
    من به عنوان روان درمانگر بزرگسال همواره
    تلاش داشتم با تکیه بر تعالیم اساتید،
    در چارچوب اخلاق حرفه ای و مبتنی بر شواهد علمی،
    خدمات آموزشی و درمانی خود را به
    مراجعین ارائه کنم
    تحصیل کرده دکترای روانشناسی بالینی
    از دانشگاه علوم توانبخشی
    شماره نظام روانشناسی 26790

  23. Wow! This can be one particular of the most useful blogs We have ever arrive across on this subject. Actually Fantastic. I am also an expert in this topic therefore I can understand your hard work.

  24. Wonderful items from you, man. I’ve bear in mind
    your stuff previous to and you are just too wonderful.
    I actually like what you’ve obtained here, certainly like
    what you’re saying and the way in which in which you say it.
    You are making it enjoyable and you continue to take care of to
    stay it sensible. I cant wait to read much more from you.
    That is really a tremendous website.

  25. Wow, superb weblog layout! How long have you ever been running
    a blog for? you made blogging look easy. The whole look of your web site is great,
    let alone the content material!

  26. 25 ویژگی یک مرد آلفاجامع ترین مقاله در مورد مرد آلفا
    این به او کمک می کند تا
    از هر موضع اجتماعی و اقتصادی بتواند با مردم ارتباط
    برقرار کند. در مطالعات حیوانات اجتماعی، از بالاترین فرد در سلسله مراتب
    سلطه گاهی آلفا نام برده می شود.

    نرها، ماده ها یا هر دو، بسته به
    نوع، می توانند آلفا باشند.
    رفتار مرد آلفا، راه رفتن، ساختار بدن – نشانگرهایی برای بقیه هستند.
    بدن آلفا فرمون های خاصی تولید می
    کند که در سطح ناخودآگاه توسط مردان و زنان اطراف آلفا
    به عنوان بالاتر در نردبان سلسله
    مراتبی خوانده می شود. او رهبر است، رهبر
    در همه چیز، و این گویای همه
    چیز است. آلفا یک ناقل مجرای ادراری (به ندرت پوست) است که درصد بسیار کمی از آن در جامعه وجود
    دارد و از این رو جذابیت آن
    ها است.
    معمولاً آنها یک تجربه منفی داشته اند
    که اعتمادشان را از بین برده است. به عنوان مثال جدا شدن از کسی که دوستش داشتند، آسیب روحی در بچگی یا خیانت
    باعث ایجاد چنین شخصیتی در آن ها می شود.
    این مردان معمولا به سختی به فرد جدید اعتماد
    می کنند و این مشکل را تقصیر دیگران می اندازند که در حق آن ها بدی کرده اند و ممکن است به خاطر همین
    ویژگی که دارند تا همیشه تنها باشند.

    برای کسب اطلاع در زمینه مشاوره فردی کلیک کنید.

    خب، قبل از هر چیزی باید بدانید که “آلفا” اولین حرف الفبای یونانی است
    و به همین دلیل، مردان آلفا بالاترین مرتبه در هرم
    قدرت را دارند. مردان آلفا نقطه
    مقابل مردان بتا هستند و خیلی
    از افراد سعی دارند که به یک مرد آلفای
    جذاب تبدیل شوند.
    اصطلاح آلفا در حیواناتی که
    بصورت گله ای زندگی می کنندمانند شیر و گرگ کاربرد دارد مثلا
    در گله گرگ ها به گرگ نری که رهبرشان است و بالطبع درشت تر،
    چابک تر و شجاع تر از بقیه نر های گله
    است گفته می شود. مردان بتا برای تصمیم‌گیری نیاز به کمک دیگران دارند.
    مثلا ممکن است به شدت وابسته به خانواده یا دوستانش برای تصمیم‌گیری باشد یا همه تصمیماتش را
    شریک عاطفی یا همسرش باید برایش بگیرد.
    اگر در کارهای هنری باشند، می‌توانند بسیار موفق عمل کنند چون از لحاظ درک
    کردن مد، زیبایی و رنگ‌ها و… حرف ندارند.
    این افراد توانایی به اشتراک گذاشتن شادی، هیجانات و احساسات را دارند و به شدت با دیگران همدلی
    اغلب مرد آلفا با عزت نفس هیپرتروفی،
    خودخواهی، نگرش مصرف کنندهبرای نوع خود، تمایل به قربانی کردن هر کسی به خاطر خود.
    از اولین دقایق ملاقات با یک
    مرد آلفا، شکی وجود ندارد که یک فرد به گروه پیشرو تعلق دارد.
    در حضور او، بقیه مردان افسرده به
    نظر می رسند و به وضوح نمی خواهند وارد درگیری شوند تا موقعیت
    های از دست رفته را به دست آورند.

    پوتین در سخنرانی‌های خود همواره
    اشاره‌هایی به دوران روسیه
    قدرتمند دارد و نوعی افسوس از فروپاشی شوروی در کلام وی هویدا است.
    به همین جهت انگیزه بسیاری از رفتارهای وی به نظر می‌رسد تلاش
    برای بازگرداندن روسیه به جایگاه ابرقدرتی خود است.
    شما با استفاده از کتابراه همیشه و همه جا به کتاب‌ها و کتابخانه خود دسترسی دارید
    و می‌توانید به سادگی از هر فرصتی برای مطالعه استفاده کنید.

  27. Howdy, I do think your blog may be having web browser compatibility issues. When I take a look at your web site in Safari, it looks fine however, when opening in Internet Explorer, it’s got some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Aside from that, fantastic website.

  28. Hi, Neat post. There is an issue with your website in internet explorer, may check this?

    IE nonetheless is the marketplace chief and a large component to people will omit your
    great writing due to this problem.

  29. You are so cool! I do not believe I’ve truly read something like that before. So great to discover another person with some genuine thoughts on this topic. Really.. many thanks for starting this up. This website is something that’s needed on the internet, someone with some originality.

  30. rockstar newswire
    pr newswire
    gta newswire
    newswire canada
    newswire gta
    newswire press releases
    newswire sri lanka
    newswire services
    newswire pricing
    newswire co
    newswire services canada
    cision pr newswire
    newswire gta
    press release
    press release template
    press release example
    vsp press release
    how to write a press release
    press release format

  31. I’m amazed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both equally educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. The problem is something that too few men and women are speaking intelligently about. Now i’m very happy that I came across this during my hunt for something relating to this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.