Guantanamo Bay must be a thorn in President Obama's side and also to his election campaign. Three years ago the President attempted to fulfill one election promise and close Guantanamo. He was not successful.
Instead a token gesture of Human Rights improvements was made. There is now a ban on evidence obtained by torture but lawyers of those held in this US camp still only have restricted access to their clients. This has led to the lawyers involved denying that the camp has any legitimacy.
A military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay is set to formally charge Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other men. They all stand accused of plotting the 9/11 attacks. Kudos to President Obama for wanting to hold an open trial in New York. However it appears the people and politicians of the US were against this. This means that the accused will all face a military trail at Guantanamo.
An arraignment will be held today, May 5, 2012. According to the BBC "Self-proclaimed 9/11 "mastermind" Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the four others - Waleed bin Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmad al-Hawsawi - are expected to be tried together. They are accused of planning and executing the terror attacks of 11 September 2001, which saw hijacked planes strike New York, Washington and Shanksville, Pennsylvania and left a total of 2,976 people
Some of the families and loved ones of the victims have been arriving at Guantanamo. Since 9/11 some of these accused have allegedly claimed to be proud of their involvement in 9/11 and admitted responsibility. However none are expected to enter a guilty plea.
CIA documents reportedly confirm that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was subjected to simulated drowning, that is water-boarding, 183 times.
Looking across the Pond Guantanamo continues to puzzle and anger. Dismissing basic human rights and freedoms when it suits is a dangerous game and so often it backfires.The old adage of as you sow so shall you reap comes to mind yet once more as far as the US goes.
You have to wonder what some people, not least the military, have to hide.
Eileen Kersey manages TEK Staff Blog