U.S. Policy in the Wake of 9/11: The U.S. Naval Base at Guantánamo Bay
The Guantánamo Bay naval base was established as a detention center for holding suspected "enemy combatants" following the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.
The Guantánamo Bay site, located in Cuba, was selected with the intention of creating a detention facility that was outside the law. Detainees were not granted the rights of U.S. citizens accused of crimes, nor were they granted the rights of prisoners of war. This meant that no formal charges were filed and no public trials held. The Bush administration argued that the detention center was outside the jurisdiction of the law because it was not on American soil. The Obama administration vowed to close the facility by January 2010, but failed to fulfill that promise, and the detention center remains open as of this writing. Though detainees have been offered increased legal protection since the Hamdan v. Rumsfeld Supreme Court ruling, they have not been granted access to the U.S. civilian court system.
Two-thirds of the 800 prisoners who have passed through Guantánamo since 2002 have been freed, most of them without being charged, after several years in captivity.
» Now. "Guantánamo Bay's Peculiar History."
» Los Angeles Times. "Obama and Guantánamo: A Chronology of His Broken Promise."
Credit: Kathleen T. Rhem / Department of Defense