The Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Monday proposed a 13-point plan to close Guantánamo Bay prison. Co-chairs Claire Finkelstein and Harvey Rishikof complied a diverse analysis of the prison to create a proposal that is both comprehensive and nonpartisan.
Among the report’s 13 recommendations are a proposal for US President Biden to give the Secretary of Defense the authority to close Guantánamo, a restoration of the office of special envoy to the prison, a release of all uncharged inmates and a prohibition on the use of the state secrets privilege to conceal US involvement in unlawful activity.
Creation of the proposal was challenging, as co-chair Rishikof states:
Given the diversity of opinions represented by the group, it was an achievement to reach consensus on the 13 recommendations. The knotty legal and policy issues raised by the Guantánamo military commissions will be the subject of study for law reviews, dissertations, and reports for decades to come. It was our intention to provide a path forward so that we can resolve the ‘GTMO Conundrum’ and provide justice and closure for the families who lost so many loved ones.
Scrutiny and public dissapproval of Guantánamo Bay has increased in the past decade. The prison costs over $540 million each year to operate, and legal experts question if the US has the authority to detain uncharged inmates after the US withdrew troops from Afghanistan in 2021.