May 13th, 2013
02:42 PM ET

Why is Gitmo still open?

Gitmo – a word known around the world. The Guantanamo Bay detention camp opened by President Bush in January 2002, continues to operate under President Obama, despite his promise to close the prison when he was first elected.

It's been more than 4 years  since that promise and Gitmo, is still open.

Stop force-feeding inmates and close Gitmo

Not one of the 86 detainees cleared for release have been released. And, while President Obama hasn't placed new detainees in Gitmo, he has put a lot of money into it - roughly $150 million a year.

And 4,700 people have been killed in U.S. drone attacks, some of whom otherwise might have been Gitmo bound.

But the President is frustrated. Congress has blocked his efforts to close the prison.

Now, Gitmo is at a tipping point. Detainees have been on a hunger strike for 100 days, dozens forced to eat with feeding tubes.
And there are serious questions about how America is fighting its war on terror.

Terror threat from Gitmo prisoners is exaggerated

This story matters - that's why all week on this program – we'll bring you an OutFront investigation from inside the prison.

Our Chris Lawrence reports live from Gitmo 7p ET on CNN.

Filed under: Gitmo
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. edmundburkeson

    It's still open because Obama needs an excuse to blame Bush when people realize that Obama has given up on the war on terror.

    May 27, 2013 at 4:14 pm | Reply
  2. saunsea

    So, Gitmo was started by George W. Bush, but Obama is blocked by Congress to shut it down? Did President Bush require Congress to open it in the first place (forgive my lack of historical knowledge on that point)? If it wasn't opened by Congress, why would Congress have anything to do with shutting it down?

    May 16, 2013 at 1:54 am | Reply
  3. arik fetscher

    There should be someone who sees or at least tries to see the link between Guantanamo Syria and immigration. Its easy to see that from the perspective of many Gitmo is a focal point for many, especially in Cuba and Latin America, for what is wrong and hypocritical about the US. While I am sure there is much, I do remember the issue of CIA photos not being turned over to try to let the nation heal at the time, that would in a court not shine well on the actions of this or the past administration, the longer its held in check the more difficult it becomes for being divulged which it will as it all does come out.

    But rather than hiding it where is the link that what makes America great is our ideals, that the reason people want to come here is the opportunity which can only be created by a system of laws and the protection of freedoms and ability to have voices openly heard? The reason to end the hostilities and allow Syria to flourish again with laws and an elected government are the same that led us on our revolution and as such our support is not a game of chess but based on following through on our responsibility to people who have used peaceful means only to face bullets in response and then utilized what resources they had to protect themselves. If the government cared it would have negotiated before, as was the case in other Middle East nations.

    The same ideals that call for a response in Syria also call for the closure of Guantanamo and the reform of immigration. This are not small politics these are bigger issues of who were are and what we stand for as a people. What is in our hearts and minds laid bare for the peoples of all the world to see. It is odd to me that more dont see the common thread running through these issues as it is so glaring but it may be that we have been willfully self blinded for so long out of fear that we have forgotten what the light looks like when our eyes are open. The need to feel safe is often not the same as what safety actually requires and many times safety is sacrificed for feeling safe. Our strength and security lies not in the last resort but in our first, who we are what we are and the strength of our ideas and ideals that make all the rest possible.

    I do not think us such a weak people to petty politic away for the momentary vanity of a few all thats has made the generations of the many great. If we are to be judged and measured by future generations and ourselves dont we want it to be done on the merits of our dreams and goals ?

    Arik Fetscher


    There are many nations on earth that can ask the same of their leaders at this moment and I wish it to be mine ours that stands tallest among them all when the call is made.

    May 14, 2013 at 9:36 am | Reply

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