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Will Obama Fulfill His Promise To Close Down Guantanamo Bay Prison?

24 January 2016

By Al-Ikhwah Al-Mujahidun

Barack Obama in his annual speech to Congress stated that by the end of this year he will shut down Guantanamo Bay Prison. During his campaign for presidency some eight years ago, he also made this promise to his electorate that he will close down this notorious prison. After being elected he again promised to close down the prison within 100 days of his presidency. Yet it has been seven years into his presidency and Guantanamo Prison is still live and operational.

Judging from his past track record this promise will also carry little weight since this oft-promised initiative will surely be resisted by a large section of American society and in any event, due to bureaucratic red tape, the practical steps required to achieve it could possibly take years to fulfill.

The surest sign of a political leader's failure is his inability to fulfill his express promises. In fact the biggest failure of Obama has been his failure to fulfill his many campaign promises. Obama's presidential campaign was accompanied by an atmosphere of euphoria in that country. People were cheering that for the first time in American history we have a black president. Obama capitalized on that atmosphere and made grandiose promises to transform American society and its political culture. Yet he is now nearing the end of his second term in office and with little to show for it. Perhaps his only major success was the implementation of the Obamacare Schee. All his other promises have gone awry with the passage of time.

As most readers are probably aware, Guantanamo Bay is the world infamous prison where humans are kept like animals in cages which are designed so that the prisoners can neither stand upright in them nor walk properly. Prisoners have their hands and feet cuffed, are ill-fed, and physically and psychologically tortured as well as being denied basic medicine.

Prisoners are subjected to new and novel methods of torture. Their beliefs are mocked and their values are derided on a regular basis. Their Islamic culture is ridiculed and their sacred belongings debased. They are harassed physically and their family members are threatened. Their personal correspondence is vetted and often they are given fake letters, purportedly, from their families.

Some of the prisoners were kept under these circumstances for around a decade and denied any family visits, or the right to an attorney, or a due judicial process. Many of these prisoners were kept under such torturous conditions for years by the so-called defenders of human rights; some prisoners continue to be held there till this day.

Guantanamo Bay Prison has become the symbol of inhumanity and torture around the world. The injustices and torture perpetuated in this and other American operated prisons are nothing short of the concentration camps operated by the Nazis. Surely had such prisons being operated by Saddam, or Iran or North Korea they would have been accused of the gravest violations against human rights and dignity. Nay they would have been accused of genocide and crimes against humanity.

Yet here we have the world's supposed defender of human rights establishing and operating such prisons and yet international human rights organizations have adopted acrimonious silence regarding this. These organizations inflate even the slightest violations of others into crimes against humanity and yet say nothing regarding the concentration camps operating in their own back yards.

Even now it is time for the Americans to close down Guantanamo Prison and all other black prison sites, let the incarcerated return to their families and enjoy their basic human rights and live a life of human dignity. And by doing so, finally reverse the degradation of the ideals their forefathers had set for them.


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