The general who set up the prison at Guantanamo Bay says it’s about time that we shut it down. It’s interesting to see how much he’s flipped sides on the issue, and how willing he is to admit that the prison was opened out of fear– a fact that everybody should know. The United States was extremely scared after 9/11, and we acted as a nation who’s extremely scared would act by jumping to extremes. We failed to realize that the interrogation strategy largely seems to fail and that there would be negative perceptions of us throughout the world by opening the prison. Hopefully the government will also flip sides on the issue and start to understand exactly why the prison needs to be shut down.
This seems like a pretty important question– if the prison continues to cause problems for the United States and has almost no benefits (see this post and this post) why hasn’t it been shut down, especially since President Obama has openly supported closing down the prison?
The answer is simple– political opposition. There’s almost no political support for closing down the detention facility (and an incredibly high amount of political opposition) from the Republican party (and from some democrats). That makes closing the detention facility incredibly difficult– Congressional opposition to a presidential action makes it incredibly difficult for the action to occur.
It’s unfortunate– the prison certainly needs to be closed down. But it probably won’t happen anytime soon, especially considering the current Congressional climate.