1932

Abstract

The military detention facility at the Guantánamo Bay naval base is the most enduring manifestation of the US “war on terror.” It is also materially and symbolically central to US torture, war crimes, and other egregious violations of law in the post-9/11 era. Since the first detainees arrived in 2002, Guantánamo has been the subject of controversy and debate, as well as a key setting for legal challenges to government policies. This article traces the legacy of the prison and the military commissions across four administrations. It demonstrates that the lack of a common understanding or shared narrative about what Guantánamo means or has meant is a product of entrenched partisanship that characterizes contemporary US politics more broadly. Guantánamo's confounding legacy reflects the lack of a national consensus about the role of laws and courts as guarantors of even the most basic rights.

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2023-10-05
2024-06-25
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