Letter from America

Futility at Guantanamo

Print edition : August 09, 2013

Demonstrators in front of the U.S. embassy in Sana’a, Yemen, on June 17, dressed in prison uniforms, demanding the release of Yemeni detainees at Guantanamo. Photo: Hani Mohammed/AP

Courthouse One at Guantanamo on June 17, where preliminary hearings were reconvened in the 9/11 case. Photo: Bill Gorman/AP

Yemen's Human Rights Minister Hooria Mashhour has begun to speak out for the release of the prisoners. Photo: AFP

A drone being prepared for launch on an aircraft carrier in the Atlantic Ocean on July 10. Photo: Rich-Joseph Facun/Reuters

Attorney General Eric Holder says the drone programme is “not a function of not trying to take people to Guantanamo”. Photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP

The shadowy status of the U.S.’ penal colony at Guantanamo Bay has the prisoners stuck in purgatory: unable to be tried for unknown crimes and unable to be released by a government paralysed by its own counterterrorism menagerie.
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