May 2nd, 2013
12:51 AM ET

What should happen to the Gitmo detainees?

For nearly three months, dozens of detainees at Guantánamo have been on a hunger strike, trying to gain sympathy in their quest for freedom.  Many of the men  have been cleared for release for years, but are still there.

When reporters asked Pres. Obama about the hunger strike on Wednesday, he once again said it should be closed and pushed Congress to take action.  "I think it is critical for us to understand that Guantanamo is not necessary to keep America safe. It is expensive. It is inefficient. It hurts us, in terms of our international standing. It lessens cooperation with our allies on counter-terrorism efforts. It is a recruitment tool for extremists. It needs to be closed," the president said.

Supporters of Guantanamo disagree and point out that dozens of men set free have returned to terrorism.

The hunger strike and whether the facility, open since 2002, should be shut down were discussed during last night’s special edition of 360 with Christiane Amanpour, Jeffery Toobin, Amy Holmes, Anthony Bourdain and former federal prosecutor and New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.  Watch the video to see part of the debate. And, here’s the AC360 411 on Guantánamo Bay:

  • 166 – The number of detainees in the facility as of November 2012.
  • 100 – Approximate number of prisoners on weeks-long hunger strike.
  • At least 21 – The number of prisoners being force-fed because they are at risk of starving to death.
  • 86 – The number of prisoners who were cleared for release in 2009, yet remained jailed.
  • 779 – Total number of prisoners who have been held at the facility.
  • 7 – The number of detainees who have died in custody.
  • 6 – The amount of camps for prisoners with different levels of security and freedom.
  • 2,200 – The approximate number of staffers at the facility, includes those from all branches of the U.S. military and civilian employees.
  • 17 – The number of miles Guantanamo fencing covers.
  • 3 – The number of fast food chains at Guantanamo.
  • 11 – The number of years Guantanamo has held accused "enemy combatants."
  • $54 million – The cost of building Guantanamo detention facilities.
  • $60 million – The estimated annual cost of operating Guantanamo.
  • 74 – The number of freed detainees who have returned to terrorist activities, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Mike

    Bin Laden did not attack us to take over the country. He attacked us to make us abandon our principles in front of the world. What do we do? Attack two countries and hold prisoners for years without trial or even charging them. Do we ignore the basic human rights this country was founded on in order to defend this country? Bin Laden got exactly what he wanted AFTER the attack.

    May 8, 2013 at 9:11 am |
  2. willlie2

    the prisoners at very least deserve a trial,some of thes people were children when recruited by their military and surely desrve a chance??

    May 5, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
  3. zuglo1

    86 prisoners are "cleared for release" but remain at Guantanamo. What happened to human rights? The US can offer no lectures to anyone anymore about human rights.

    May 5, 2013 at 9:44 am |
  4. AJ SAIZ

    I am not surprised that North Korea has sentenced an American to hard time, your prior debate on Spandau in the Caribbean gives anyone the licence to do whatever they want, you sow what you reap......

    May 2, 2013 at 10:33 pm |