In light of last week’s Supreme Court ruling regarding detainee rights, what reasons does the United States have for keeping the detention center open? One of the current administration’s long-standing justifications was that by keeping the detained persons off US soil, that the full slate of Constitutional rights did not apply. The Supreme Court has roundly rejected that reasoning as faulty. From my point of view, it appears that security may be the only remaining reason to keep the facility open. Some may view the detention center as a target to attack, on the hope of freeing detainees. By keeping it out of the continental US, that risk of attack is shifted 90 miles south of our border. Safeguarding against detainee escape, from a security standpoint, would pose little challenge were the detention center moved to mainland US. This is largely due to the fact that the facility would likely be located either near a current military prison or on a military installation. Either way, enough soldiers in the area would easily deter most escape attempts.
If security is not our utmost concern, then our standing in the world should be. Our ability to function as a global power depends largely on the respect we garner, and the detention center has certainly harmed our credibility. By closing the facility, we could incrementally restore our damaged image and difuse one of our critics’ most powerful weapons. I am in no way suggesting that these individuals should be freed, but instead be relocated to a facility without the stigma and connotation associated with it that the term “Guantanamo Bay” carries.