Ten years ago today, the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center opened to hold suspected terrorists. Despite President Obama’s pledge to close Guantanamo, 171 detainees remain. We discuss the history and future of Guantanamo and its remaining detainees.

Capt. Glenn Sulmasy, chairman of the Department of Humanities and professor of law at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy
Rini Chakraborty, West Coast regional director for Amnesty International
J.D. Gordon, senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy, former Defense Department spokesman for the Western Hemisphere in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, serving under both Secretary Rumsfeld and Secretary Gates from 2005-2009 and former vice president of communications and foreign policy adviser for Herman Cain

  • Kathleen31

    Very bad start, when the first words out of a panelist’s mouth are “It’s all the fault of The Left,” as if “The Left” is a) some organized single actor and b) the only direction from which criticism has come. Please don’t pander to this pathetic attempt to frame the discussion as Left vs. Right.

    • Ayn Marx

      You’re only saying that because that was in the daily briefing from George Soros, Zombie Saul Alinsky, and anybody else with off-white surnames available.

      • Jessica

        um, “off-white”??

  • Ayn Marx

    If I were someone unjustly detained in Guantanamo for a few years, I might just want a quiet life or I might have been impressed by the evidence of the U.S.’s antipathy toward me….

  • visitor

    Fascinating comments by the American terrorists who have held these hostages for so many years.  May this empire end soon.

    • Gougoul B

      It shows that when push comes to shove, US is another third world country, in suit and tie and shaved face.

  • erictremont

    I’m not sure if either side in this discussion is well informed or totally honest.  Also, there needs to be a distinction between enemy combatants held in Gitmo vs. the CIA’s secret prisons that were established by the Bush Administration and closed by Obama.  My recollection is that torture did occur at the secret prisons.

  • yesteray

    Facts and evidence?

    The panelist who states that “the whole world believe that Iraq had WMDs,” he needs to get out more. I’d say the opposite: there was no credible evidence that Iraq had WMDs. It was quite clear at the time that the Bush/Cheney administration was cherry picking the evidence that supported their claims and ignoring the preponderance of evidence that contradicted those claims. See the Downing Street memos, statements of Scott Ritter, etc 

    Furthermore, whether one agrees with the decision in the OJ Simpson case or not, he received a fair trail. The reason the panelist doesn’t want that for the Guantanamo detainees is because he wants to put his thumb on the scale and find these men guilty, whether the evidence supports a conviction or not. 

    Similar to Osama bin Laden and other terrorists, the panelis is so sure of his own righteousness that he is willing to be judge, jury and executioner.

    • utera

      Sorry that is just like saying you know you were right about the lottery numbers after you win. You didn’t know anything anymore than the intelligence folks, that is the simple truth.  

      • yesteray

        I’m referring to statements that were made before the invasion of Iraq, so we are talking about calling the lottery numbers before the lottery occurred. The speaker made a statement, “the whole world believed that Iraq had WMDs.” This statement is both factually incorrect and disingenuous. The whole world did not believe that; most of the world seriously doubted it. Those are facts. For the speaker to say otherwise is an attempt to spin the conversation and deceive the listener.

        • utera

          Same difference, you may believe that your lottery numbers were the right ones before the drawing but you had no actual reason to believe as such.  Crowing about it after the fact is the problem, folks either are not self aware or simply like to use this to score political points regardless of whether it passes any test of reason. It doesn’t matter if he says what he says, his opponents have essentially the same position, picking a different horse.

  • jsb94510

    If nothing illegal happened at Guantanamo, then why is the government fighting tooth and nail to keep the al-Qahtani videos secret?

  • erictremont

    One more point: I’m not necessarily opposed to putting some terrorists on trial in U.S. courts but let’s be honest, it isn’t only Republicans who are preventing this from happening.  The New York Congressional delegation, which is composed mostly of Democrats, went ballastic went Obama’s Justice Department proposed putting a key Al Queda operative on trial in NY City.  

  • Chrisco

    It is a good discussion, but as noted by other comments, there is some heavy misinformation, and the loudest, clearest voice in the land is missing (maybe he had a prior engagement).

    Guantanamo is all about indefinite detention, and a Kafka-esque legal black hole. That is what it means to the world.

  • Chrisco

    It was noted that 90 nations will NOT take the Uighurs that we have wrongly detained for all these years. And we know it. But is it really 91 nations? Namely, does he include the US in those nations.

    Why won’t all these other nations in the world solve the problem we created? When we can solve the problem in the same exact fashion? In fact, we have greater capacity to solve it, greater wealth, greater land area, greater diversity.

    Our absolute refusal to accept even one wrongfully held Guantanamo detainee is quite shameful. And it really makes it impossible to ask in good faith that other 3rd-party nations accept them. And those that have are like saints on Earth. (Well not really, since it is safe to say major material incentives were included in the negotiations.)

  • Guest

    The America I Believe In Would Close Guantanamo Bay NOW.

    • utera

      like a religion you believe.

      The real world is complicated, and we have to deal with reality.

  • scottbilker

    Great job JD!!

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