Twice a day at the facility in Guantanomo Bay, Cuba guards take a group of detainees, one at a time, to a camp clinic or private room on their cell block. The detainees are offered a hot meal or a liquid nutritional supplement. If they refuse, they are then strapped into a chair. A nurse then passes a tube through their nose into their stomachs. Then for an hour or two they are fed a drip of ensure while a Navy Corpsman watches. It us said to be painful.
The hunger strike began in February over allegations that the guard force improperly handled Korans during searches. The military strenuously denies this accusation. Since then the number of hunger stroked has skyrocketed. The protest has taken on a broader meaning as detainees demonstrate against President Ovama’s failure to close Guantanomo Bay.
White House officials said that President Obama is considering appointing a Senior State Department official to oversee the transfer of detainees who have been cleared for repatriation or resettlement. The post is currently vacant. He will accelerate efforts to start a periodic review process for others being held without charges. There are 166 detainees at GITMO, 86 of whom have been cleared for transfer nuance interagency task force. The process of emptying the facility by sending detainees home or finding them third world countries inwhich to live has been moribund for a year.
President Obama has been pretty passionate about closing GITMO, but the impediments that have thwarted him still remain. Congress passed restrictions on the transfer of detainees to U.S. or other countries, he effectively abondoned the issue because Republicans blocked his attempts. Obama has transferred many prisoners at GITMO to other countries and has called for moving the remaining detainees to maximum security facilities in the U.S. But Republicans who blocked President Obama’s original push to close GITMO remain no less committed to keeping it open. Republicans opposing the closure express concern over the security and argue that the rules of civilian court aren’t appropriate for terrorist prosecutions.
A renewed push to close the detention center would cheer liberals who have expressed frustration over his failure to close GITMO. Obama at no time has had the full support of his party, some Democrats have sided with Republicans to block the transfer of detainees to U.S. prisons. Human rights organizations have welcome the Prwsident’s renewed call to close the facility but urged him to do more immediately. Thee are detainees who have spent many years in Guantanomo without a trial and seemingly without hoped of resolution.
It is un-American to hold anyone without charges. Charge them, try them, sentence them if found guilty, if not pet them go. By treating people like this we are sowing more seeds of discontent. Asking for more terrorist attacks. Contrary to popular Republican belief you are innocent until proven guilty. Democrats need to unite to keep us from going to far. We are hurting our reputation in the world.
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