My First Trip to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba Post Trump’s Election 

At Andrews Air Force Base this morning

Usually in my pre-departure blogs before I travel to Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, I focus on the specific detainee whose hearings I am traveling to monitor. This time it is a little bit different.

I’m sitting at Andrews Air Force Base waiting for a plane to Cuba for hearings in the case of Hadi al Iraqi, who is alleged to be a high level member of al Qaeda, liaison between Al Qaeda Iraq and the Taliban, and responsible for deaths of multiple individuals perpetrated in the context of armed conflict.

This is my first trip to Guantánamo Bay under a new administration elect. There are dozens of us here at Andres, sitting and waiting. Everyone is involved with the Military Commission hearings–the prosecution, defense counsel, media, NGOs, court room staff, tech staff, and many others.

How many are asking themselves now whether the new administration will move towards closing Guantánamo Bay, move towards keeping it open, or move towards increasing the numbers of detainees at Guantanamo?

Will members of ISIS or Daesh be sent to Guantanamo? Will “enhanced interrogation” continue at the levels deemed acceptable by the Obama administration, or will it be increased beyond that–at levels deemed by the Obama administration to be unlawful? Will this enhanced interrogation, if it is reinstituted, be conducted at Guantánamo Bay or conducted elsewhere before individuals are taking to Guantanamo Bay?

Will there be additional prosecutions of detainees who have bee at Guantanamo up to 15 years? If so, will there be charges that carry the death penalty?

We should have answers to these and other questions soon enough–if not before 20 January 2017, then certainly soon after.

With NGO colleague Lyn who was with me in September for Hadi hearings st Gitmo

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