Should Guantanamo Bay be shut down? | The Tylt

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Ahead of his first State of the Union address, President Trump signed an executive order to keep Guantánamo Bay—a military detention facility off the coast on Cuba—open. Many argue Gitmo is inhumane, absent from due process and serves as a recruiting tool for terrorists. But others argue Gitmo isn't nearly as terrible as critics claim. Plus, the few detainees left are the worst of the worst and as enemy combatants rather than regular criminals, they should be treated as such. What do you think?

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Ahead of his first State of the Union address, President Trump signed an executive order to keep military detention center Guantánamo Bay, a.k.a. Gitmo, open.

Consistent with long-standing law of war principles and applicable law, the United States may detain certain persons captured in connection with an armed conflict for the duration of the conflict...The detention operations at the U.S. Naval Station Guantánamo Bay are legal, safe, humane, and conducted consistent with United States and international law.

President Obama tried to close Gitmo throughout his presidency, arguing it was inhumane and served as a recruiting tool for terrorists. Even former President Bush believed the detention facility was making the War on Terror more difficult.

Both the Bush and the Obama administration also believed that the prison had become a recruitment tool for terrorists and sought to whittle down the population through an aggressive slate of transfers.“While I believe opening Guantanamo after 9/11 was necessary, the detention facility had become a propaganda tool for our enemies and a distraction for our allies. I worked to find a way to close the prison without compromising security,” Bush wrote in his memoir.

But Trump not only wants to keep Gitmo open, he suggested sending more detainees to the prison.

"I am also asking the Congress to ensure that, in the fight against ISIS and al-Qa'ida, we continue to have all necessary power to detain terrorists—wherever we chase them down."

Trump's Chief of Staff John Kelly has long advocated for keeping Gitmo open and doesn't buy the argument that it serves as a terrorist recruitment tool.

"I have three tours in Iraq, a lot of interaction with detainees, and none of them every said to me, 'You know the reason I picked up a rifle to kill you people? Is because of Guantanamo bay,' " Kelly says. "I would say that our actions against extremists, bombing them and killing them, would be more of reason to hate us than keeping some of their colleagues in a great detention facility at Guantanamo bay."
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But critics of Gitmo argue it is not only problematic because it serves as a terrorist recruiting tool, it is also an illegal violation of human rights. Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of The Nation, outlines the detention facilities long history of torture and holding detainees—sometimes for years—without a trial.

Interrogators employed a variety of brutal torture techniques, including waterboarding, sleep deprivation, mock executions and rectal rehydration. To justify its torture program, the CIA lied to Congress about its effectiveness.

The ACLU has advocated for the closing of Gitmo for years, arguing it is an “island outside the law” where terrorism suspects can be "detained without process and interrogated without restraint."

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.

According to the ACLU, only 5 percent of detainees were captured by American troops while 86 percent of detainees were turned over in response to bounty offers. This implies many of those who turned over suspected terrorists to the authorities may have been doing so for money, rather than to help fight terrorism. 

The fact that hundreds of individuals have been held in Gitmo indefinitely without a trial also means they are being denied due process. If Gitmo exists in direct contrast to the values America holds so dear, it should be closed immediately

 It is long past time for this shameful episode in American history to be brought to a close.
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In addition to potential human rights violations, Gitmo is also very expensive to maintain. 

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But, according to Gallup, the majority of Americans continue to support Gitmo staying open.

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FINAL RESULTS
Politics
Should Guantanamo Bay be shut down?
A festive crown for the winner
#CloseGitmoNow
#KeepGitmoOpen