Yesterday saw a victory for civil rights advocates with the approval to transfer more Guantanamo Bay detainees to prisons on American soil. The Senate voted 79 to 19 in favor of continuing the relocation as part of the homeland security department budget bill. The bill will now go to the desk of President Barack Obama for his signature.
Obama already signed an executive order in January promising to close the prison one year later. However, he met much resistance from both Congress and the public.
It’s hard to understand why Americans would be opposed to moving prisoners from a distant, highly secretive island to the more transparent and just mainland. Are they really afraid suspected terrorists will escape into their backyards and begin blowing stuff up?
Not only do the transfers allow the public a more watchful eye on the prisoners and their treatment, it also allows the prisoners access to basic human rights. Namely, trial in federal courts and access to an attorney.
It will be interesting to see if the prisoners are given their trials and if so, what evidence will be allowed/revealed in court.