Sixteen years have passed since the first prisoner arrived in Guantánamo Bay. Almost 800 men have passed through the cells of Guantánamo, originally fashioned as an “island outside the law” where terrorism suspects could be detained without process and interrogated without restraint. It is long past time for this shameful episode in American history to be brought to a close.
Every branch of our government shares responsibility for Guantánamo’s ongoing damage to the human rights of detainees, our nation’s reputation, and national security. The president and his agencies have the power to end indefinite detention and close Guantánamo, ending this travesty rather than perpetuating it. However, the Trump administration has pledged to keep Guantánamo open, ignoring that it has been a catastrophic failure on every front.