President Obama wants to close the Guantanamo Bay prison camp by next January. He has reversed himself on military commissions, now embracing them as a way to put some detainees on trial, but under new rules. He has said some detainees will be moved to U.S. prisons, and some will be released to other countries. Some, such as the Muslim Uighurs from Western China, may end up in the United States.
Congress, however, has voted to strip money for closing Guantanamo from the supplemental war budget until Obama comes up with a detailed plan for the 240 detainees remaining in Cuba. And Republicans, as well as some Democrats, have said they will not allow detainees to be brought onto U.S. soil.
What is the right path here? Is Guantanamo the moral stain on our values and Constitution, as some on the left would say? Would closing Guantanamo make us safer and remove it as one of the incitements of terrorists around the world, as Obama and others have said? Or should it remain open as an effective holding place for people dedicated to killing Americans but too difficult to put on trial because of national security and secrecy concerns, as former Vice President Dick Cheney says? What should we do about Guantanamo and the detainees held there?