Professor Rayner Identifies Obama as Guantanamo Detainees’ Jailer
In a recent op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, Clinical Associate Professor Martha Rayner responded to President Obama’s recent news conference that addressed the hunger strikes occurring inside the prison walls of the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba.
Rayner expressed concern that Obama failed to acknowledge that he is the current jailer of the Guantanamo detainees, particularly when he blamed Congress for the fact that the prison remains open. The President referred to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which he signed into law. Rayner said that claiming the NDAA prevented transfers is simply incorrect.
Although the president is required to make certain security assurances to Congress before transferring men from Guantanamo to other countries, the law does not prohibit him from carrying out such transfers.
Rayner said that Obama’s failure to initiate the transfer process illustrates an affirmative decision to keep the prison open. She called for the President to acknowledge his role in keeping the prison open and to end the practice of indefinite detention without fair trial.
The president’s April 30 news conference was an attempt to quell the growing hunger strike at Guantanamo. But his words will drive the men into further desperation. They know it is Mr. Obama who imprisons them. So when the president blames Congress, takes no responsibility for keeping Guantanamo open, and offers tepid claims that he will see what he can do, it means only more of the same for the prisoners.