Karen Greenberg has been on Obama’s case a long time. As well she should. The author of The Least Worst Place: Guantanamo’s First 100 Days reflected:
“Above all, Obama has refused to punish those who designed, justified, carried out, and covered up torture. Without accountability, there is little to deter future government lawyers from fashioning opinions to suit the exigent needs of their president, as John Yoo did for Bush. Some of those who had a part in building these programs have confessed to me their remorse, and the way their participation keeps them up at night, but this sorrow remains as secret as the programs once were. And all of them, remorseful or not, are free to pursue their careers and, if called upon, to comment, as Dick Cheney and Yoo still sometimes are, to defend torture as a useful weapon in the war on terror.”
In March 2011 Greenberg wrote about the Obama administration’s process of institutionalization, linking to an article by chief reporter for the Guardian U.S. Ed Pilkington about the President’s green light to resume military trials of terror suspects detained at Guantánamo Bay… Obama also signed an executive order that moved to set into law the already existing practice on Guantanamo of holding detainees indefinitely without charge.
“The irony could not be more pronounced,” added Centre for Constitutional Rights lawyer Wells Dixon. “He came into office saying it was one of his national security priorities to close Guantánamo, yet he has now become one of the first presidents to codify a policy of indefinite detention.”
So on hearing of the President’s latest transfer of 10 more prisoners to Oman, which we of course applaud, we are reminded of and wish justice for the remaining 45 survivors of America’s torture camp at Guantanamo. It is good that 40 members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus have submitted a letter calling on Obama to “definitively close the site by rapidly pursuing any and all options within your existing authority to seek lawful disposition of all of the 55 [now 45] remaining individuals languishing in the camp,” to deny president-elect Trump “the tools to reinstate torture.”
And it behooves us to block other avenues to torture available to Donald Trump and his ilk, home or abroad.