Guantanamo Bay, once the desired location for the detested foes of the ideals of freedom and democracy, slowly became the focus of many human rights lobbyists and organizations spurred on by the concerns of many European Union member countries, as the atrocity of 9/11 began to inevitably lose its place at the pinnacle of world revulsion.
Since its initial concept, the detention camp or prison, has been utilized as a convenient political whipping point to cause embarrassment particularly during the Bush administration era, though Obama’s administration was not immune from the Camp’s controversial distain among the sanctimonious Brussels contingent.
An example of this political one-upmanship was President Trump’s claim that 122 former Guantanamo prisoners returned to their terrorist ways upon release by the Obama administration, when in reality only 9 of the reoffenders were freed after Obama took office in 2009. (BBC, 2017)
I do, with some reservation, agree with the holding of the Supreme Court plurality decision in the case of Boumediene v. Bush, 553 U.S. 723 (2008), though Justice Scalia dissent to the decision to grant habeas corpus to foreign prisoners of war holds sway in many regards. In particular his statement illuminating the fact that despite over 400k prisoners of war were detained on U.S. soil during WWII, not one was granted the right to dispute his incarceration via habeas corpus action in federal court.(Scalia, 2008)
Justice Scalia also made the interesting point that if these captured insurgents/terrorists had been detained outside of U.S. military jurisdiction, most would have suffered a much worse fate than confinement at Guantanamo. (Scalia, 2008)
In fact, this is the current U.S. methodology of dealing with insurgents as demonstrated by the mass ISIS detention camps within Syria and Iraqi, and strangely many of the European, Guantanamo critics have conveniently stripped these prisoners (mostly wives of ISIS fighters) of their citizenship, rather than deal with them on their own territory. Certainly, Guantanamo during its max prisoner capacity was not ideal, but in comparison to the conditions of confinement in the Middle East or beyond with absolutely zero human rights for prisoners of war it was and is still viable in this respect.
As far as the prolific use of hellfire missiles during the Obama years; I personally agreed with this policy, as it was extremely effective in removing insurgent leaders from the battlefield, and I am assured that each decision was made with scrupulously-thorough intelligence, and the decisions were definitely not made lightly. In fact, many of the strikes were terminated due to lack of defined recognition, or in many cases the near proximity presence of civilians.
BBC. (2017, March 7). Reality check: Who released the Guantanamo re-offenders? Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-39197465
Scalia, A. (2008, June 12). Boumediene v. Bush, 553 U.S. 723 (2008). Retrieved from https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/553/72…
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