America’s Zombie Prison

Despite Barack Obama’s promise to shut down the US prison at Guantánamo Bay, his administration evidently has no intention of doing so anytime soon. Indeed, the only thing that the Obama administration has shut down is the US State Department office of the special envoy who had been tasked with Gitmo’s closure.

NEW YORK – Why add to something that is not supposed to exist?

The something in question is the Unites States’ prison in Guantánamo Bay, for which the Pentagon recently requested $49 million in extra funding. Despite Barack Obama’s promise in 2009 – one of his first as President – to shut down “Gitmo,” the US evidently has no intention of doing so anytime soon. In fact, the only thing concerning Gitmo that the Obama administration has shut down is the office of the special envoy, Daniel Fried, who had been tasked with its closure. The US State Department reassigned Fried in late January, and he will not be replaced.

How better to memorialize that decision than with a building boom at the prison? The new facility for which the money is to be earmarked will house 106 prisoners (the precise number is uncertain) who have been neither tried nor charged.

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