Debate Speech on Guantanamo

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 Sanaa Krourou
January 3rd, 2010
Debate Speech:

  After the tragic events of September 11, 2001 , the United States government has imprisoned many suspected Al Qaeda terrorists and members of Afghanistan ’s Taliban regime at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center in Cuba.  The purpose of this movement was to interrogate these suspects and find out whatever information they could gather to stop future terrorist attacks and crack down on other known accomplices.  Since 9/11, the inhumane treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay is one of the most pressing problems that have emerged in the war on terror. The escalation of problems began when Guantanamo opened in 2002.  Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld approved special interrogation methods that were meant to force the detainee to reveal secret intelligence which is imperative in preventing attacks on U.S. soil.  The methods included putting hoods on prisoners while chaining them excessively, stripping detainees naked while being shackled ,and exposing them to excessive humiliation.  With the cruel torture of detainees exposed to the media, Guantanamo Bay was subjected to intense criticism by human rights activists, pacifists, and congressional legislators for mistreating prisoners.  The maltreatment of these detainees should be addressed because the United States government is mandated to respect prisoners’ rights under the Constitution.  Representative Louie Gohmert from Texas introduced the bill which transports detainees from Guantanamo Bay to Washington , D.C. where the United States Supreme Court will be able to effectively manageand hold detainees.  This proposal best solves the problem of inhumane treatment because by granting detainees their constitutional rights, they are treated fairly under the law and not subjected to unnecessary torturers.  By transporting these prisoners to U.S. soil, they are placed in a more secure and safe environment not intimidated by torture.  H.R. 6615 will address the human rights violation and unlawful treatment of prisoners by providing shelter on Supreme Court building grounds including adequate amount of food and water provided by the guards until their trial.  It will also provide more oversight for the United States Supreme Court to avoid torture and closely monitor actions of prisoners.  This is not costly to the United States government because there is already an existing site to house the prisoners.  Although Congress is controlled by Democrats, the approval of this policy will require bi-partisan support in order for the bill to pass.  Currently, it is still being evaluated and revised by the Committee on Armed Services.       The Guantanamo Bay Detention Center has been operated by a U.S. military task force in the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base.  It has a total of three camps in the base:  Camp Delta , Camp Iguana , and Camp X-Ray . On December 2, 2002 , Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld approved special interrogation methods that were “aimed at breaking down the silent detainee”.  They were used specifically on Mohamed Qahtani, the alleged 20th hijacker in the 9/11 attacks.  Methods included forcing a detainee to wear women’s underwear on the head, threatened prisoners with military working dogs, chained excessively and placing hoods on them, being held on leashes, or in painful and sexually humiliating positions.  According to the Washington Post, these same interrogation techniques were also used in the Abu Ghraib prison which indicates that the United States government had been using these abusive methods in Guantanamo Bay several months before invading Iraq .  In December of 2005, Congress passed the Detainee Treatment Act which prohibited inhumane treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay .  The problem with this act was that federal courts were ordered to strip Habeas Corpus petitions by prisoners, allow the Central Intelligence Agency ( CIA ) to bypass this act and freely torture...
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