Tuesday, May 2, 2017

America in Cuba ?

In today’s studious thought we are going to explore Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Not literally, but through the lense of a historian and an insider. Guantanamo Bay is US military territory in Cuba that hold prisoners of war, in other words detainees. Detainees are often people from countries such as Afghanistan that are involved in the war, they are either deemed dangerous, suspected to be involved with terrorist activities, or someone valuable that has answers for the government. Usually being a detainee is not a good thing. Guantanamo Bay is particularly known for holding detainees involved in 9/11. These detainees are considered high value, and sometimes they experience cruel treatment and other violent tactics used to get answers from them. These few detainees aren’t the only ones that experience this treatment.
The Geneva Convention, established in 1929, states that torture is ban along with “cruel treatment” and “humiliating and degrading treatment” . Detainees captured in the war were taken to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Although the location is in Cuba, it is US territory. Many wonder, if it is a US territory are the laws the same ? Do they still apply for prisoners in Guantanamo ? Are the prisoners treated the same as US prisoners ? The answers is now, but then there is the question why are they not treated the same ? After all they are in US prison, therefore I believe they should be treated the same as a US prisoner in America. Just because the location is different, that does not mean the laws change. Both locations are still under the constitution. Even though they are powerful prisoners, they should still have the option to be protected by the laws. Then we are left with, who should make the decision about punishing Detainees ? and how do we distinguish punishments for US prisoners compared to detainees ? Unlike regular US prisoners the fate of a detainee is left in the hands of the military, even though  they have the opportunity to go to trial. Therefore the decision maker for their punishment should be the highest ranked officer in the military at the location, or the president.
When I talked to my friend, she agreed with me and said the detainees should be treated like US prisoners. She said they should be treated the same because they are held on US territory. Although they are not US citizens they should be given the same legal rights as a US citizen. She also expanded on the idea of how some detainees are actual criminals, while others are being held just because they are deemed suspicious although they may be innocent. To avoid things like this from happening she said the treatment the detainee receives should be decided by the highest ranked officer at the prison where they are being held, they should only receive the treatment if it is needed.

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