The Associated Press and the New York Times are reporting that Barack Obama is going to do exactly what many had been hoping he would: announce the closure of Guantanamo as one of his first actions as president. That announcement will not, and should not, be accompanied by a hasty transfer of the approximately 235 remaining detainees out of Cuba. It is only the beginning of a challenging process to responsibly empty the prison that will likely take many months. But let’s not overlook the significance of this action simply because we expect it and know there is much more to do. Closing Guantanamo requires real political courage and I could not imagine a better way to begin a new era than by literally shutting down one of the worst examples of the last.
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