Fordham Law

A lack of alternatives binds Obama, U.S. to Guantanamo

Karen Greenberg on Minnesota Public Radio, April 29, 2013

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Rising desperation and a massive hunger strike among detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have led the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., to call for many of the detainees to be transferred to Yemen.

The New York Times reports that "Of the 166 wartime detainees who remain at Guantanamo, 86 were approved for transfer more than three years ago, but remain in Cuba."

Shortly after his first inauguration, President Barack Obama signed an executive order requiring that the prison be closed within a year. Over four years later, it remains open.

Part of the problem is a lack of alternatives to the detention center. In December 2009, Obama asked for the establishment of a federal prison in the United States to take the prisoners. Congress responded by approving legislation that would prohibit such a move.

Karen Greenberg, author of "The Least Worst Place: Guantanamo's First 100 Days," and Ken Gude, chief of staff and vice president at the Center for American Progress, join The Daily Circuit to discuss what would happen if the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed.