Confused Tariq Ali is confused.
Second, and more important, is the issue of what the president actually means when he says that he wants to close Guantánamo. He has long wanted to shutter the physical facility in Cuba—that much is clear. But as both Benjamin Wittes and Glenn Greenwald (a supporter and a critic of indefinite detention, respectively) noted after Obama made his comments two weeks ago, that does not mean ending the system of indefinite detention that is Guantánamo’s defining characteristic. Even if Congress had put no restrictions on Obama’s ability to close Guantánamo, the practice of holding some number of people indefinitely, without any charges, would have continued. It would have simply been a smaller number of people, held at a domestic facility within the United States. As Wittes wrote, Obama is trying to have it both ways. He wants to keep the core benefit of Guantánamo, “the ability to detain enemy fighters and leaders outside of the criminal justice system,” but also wants to “partake of the rhetoric of its delegitimization.”
(Source : nationalinterest.org)