Fourteen years have passed since the first prisoner arrived in Guantánamo Bay. Almost 800 men have passed through Guantánamo’s cells. Today, fewer than 80 men remain. Originally fashioned as an “island outside the law” where terrorism suspects could be detained without process and interrogated without restraint, Guantánamo has been a catastrophic failure on every front. It is long past time for this shameful episode in American history to be brought to a close.
On his first day in office, President Obama promised to close the prison at Guantánamo within a year. With the clock ticking down in his second term, the president’s legacy is on the line. 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. But President Obama and his agencies have the power to end indefinite detention and close Guantánamo the right way.