The United States military established the Guantanamo Bay (GTMO) detention camp within the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba in January 2002. The purpose of the camp was to detain the most dangerous enemy combatants in the War on Terror. The Bush Administration argued that because the enemy combatants were essentially war criminals by their actions, disregarding the rules outlined in the laws of land warfare as well as every observed international treaty, the detainees could be held and interrogated outside the borders of the United States without the protections provided by the U.S. Constitution or the Geneva Conventions. Supreme Court rulings such as Rasul v. Bush and Hamdan v. Rumsfeld differed with the opinions of the Administration, ruling that the detainees were entitled to access to U.S. courts and detainees were entitled to the minimal protections listed under Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions.1,2
Arguments for closing down the camp include the high-priced cost of running the camp and the propaganda appeal for enemies of the country. In 2013, the Pentagon reported spending more than $150 million per year to run the camp, which amounted to over $900,000 per inmate at the time.3 President Obama has repeatedly argued that GTMO is the greatest recruitment tool for the enemy. Opponents of the closure of the GTMO detention camp have raised concern over the high recidivism rate of former GTMO inmates returning to terrorism after being released, as well as the lack of a suitable alternative to hold future terrorists detained overseas by U.S. forces. Additionally, the proposition of inmates being transferred to prisons on U.S. soil incited outrage by many of those living in vicinity of these proposed facilities.
Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp
Should the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp be closed down?