Guantanamo Bay is back in the headlines as reports claim that the United States government has failed to track several former detainees, which raises questions about security risks…
It appears that when President Trump signed an order to keep the U.S. Military prison open earlier this year…. He apparently shut down the State Department office responsible for tracking former prisoners.
This claim comes from reports that the U.S. shut down an office that was created by the Obama Administration to close the prison. But included in that office was the program that tracked prisoners after they were released. While former President Obama campaigned on closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Trump took the opposite approach. When he announced in January that he had signed an order to keep the prison open, Trump was met with excited applause from Congress.
But now there is concern that the U.S. is not doing enough to track former inmates after they have been released. And an investigation found that some prisoners may have gone back to the groups they were originally detected with.
In one case, a Syrian man who was detained at Guantanamo for 12 years is now nowhere to be found. His records tell the story of a prisoner who was routinely tortured by way of forced feedings because he would participate in hunger strikes, in protest of the fact that he had never been charged with a crime. The investigation claimed that around 30 percent, or 222 former Guantanamo prisoners, are suspected to have returned to terrorist activities after they were released.
While registered psychologists initially studied and approved the use of a number what they called “enhanced interrogation techniques” on suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, the tides have changed in recent years. In August, the American Psychological Association reaffirmed a policy that prohibits members from working for the military in Guantanamo or any site where torture has taken place.
Trump has been very vocal about his support of torture, and last year, the United Nations accused the U.S. of continuing to torture inmates at Guantanamo Bay, despite a ban on quote “enhanced interrogation techniques.”
While some details about the CIA’s torture program were released in 2014, the most gruesome and horrific practices remain hidden from the public. And while the prisoners are labeled as suspected terrorists, many of them were held for years and never charged with a crime.