January 6, 2009, 12:00pm – 1:30pm
WASHINGTON, DC–After nearly seven years of constant controversy, it certainly looks like Guantánamo’s days are numbered after President-elect Obama reiterated his campaign pledge to close the prison camp at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. The debate has now shifted away from the simple argument about whether it should be closed and now focuses on how the Obama administration will actually do it.
Major decisions remain on whether to keep, modify, or scrap trial by military commissions, leading to further questions about when, how, where, and even if some detainees can be put on trial. Serious obstacles loom in the path of any effort to transfer other detainees back to their native countries as some can not simply be sent back home and little progress has been made to date finding other countries willing to accept them.
Please join our distinguished panel, each of whom have authored reports on closing Guantánamo, for a discussion of these and other challenges facing the incoming Obama administration.
Ken Gude, Associate Director, International Rights and Responsibilities, Center for American Progress
Elisa Massimino, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director, Human Rights First
Dr. Sarah E. Mendelson, Director of the Human Rights and Security Initiative, Center for Strategic and International Studies
Rudy deLeon, Senior Vice President for National Security and International Policy, Center for American Progress
A light lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m.
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