Sunday, October 30, 2011

Guantanamo Bay

Because of the Platforms project assigned this past week, I have realized that Guantanamo Bay is not something I am too familiar with. So here goes nothing.
Guantanamo Bay is located at the southeastern end of Cuba. The United States gained power over the southern part of the bay in the beginning of 1900 after forming the Cuban-American Treaty. However, at the present time, the government of Cuba sees the US presence on the land as illegal.
So now what is the Guantanamo Bay that Obama was supposedly to shut down?
Well, that Guantanamo Bay is a detention camp under the United States within the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. There is not much history to be discovered about the camp itself because it was only established in 2002. The Bush Administration created the Guantanamo Bay detention camps as a place to hold detainees from the war. These detainees were suspected enemies that could be involved in the war on terrors. The entirety of this location is split up into, now, two separate camps: Camp Iguana, and Camp Delta.
The main conflict during the Bush Administration was jurisdiction; figuring out who had the power to try these detainees, and what protections these detainees specifically fell under. That was then.
When Barack Obama was to be elected to office, he made a campaign promise to shut down Guantanamo Bay. In January of 2009, Obama signed an order to hold the proceedings of the Guantanamo commissions for 120 days and that the facility will be shut down by the end of the year. A week later a judge in Cuba denied this order. In May of 2009 the US passed an amendment that stopped all funds that would transfer or release the detainees of Guantanamo Bay. Then again in March of 2011, Obama tried to make efforts that would lead towards the demise of the camp, but these efforts failed as well.
According to an article printed in The New York Times, written in April of this past year, out “of the 779 people that have been detained at the United States military prison at Guantanamo, 600 have been transferred and 171 remain.”
My knowledge of Guantanamo Bay has increased significantly from this research. However, what I still do not comprehend is Barack Obama’s continuous failed efforts concerning this issue. Clearly Guantanamo Bay is an issue that has to be maneuvered around very delicately. Both sides, Cuba and the US, have strong opinions about the US’s presence their, and those sides do not match up. If closing the Guantanamo Bay detention camp was significant enough to be considered a campaign promise, then it should’ve been something that we read about in the papers more than a couple of times a year. Please correct me if I am wrong in any way, but I would give that a 2 on my I.B.I scale.  Yes, campaign promises are not necessarily things that we can trust. However, from what I have recently learned Guantanamo Bay is a much more serious issue than we would like to believe.

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