Our website is a repository of information that is go-to material for legal scholars and Middle East experts — including an authoritative list of every detainee with detailed entries on what we have managed to learn about them over the years.
Why do we continue our commitment to cover the detention center at Guantánamo Bay?
No doubt, some of the 164 remaining detainees at Guantánamo fought against the United States or plotted with al-Qaida. Right now, the trial of five men — notably Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-professed mastermind of the 9-11 attacks — is receiving the most scrutiny in the ultra-clandestine proceedings. Another captive is on trial for the al-Qaida attack on the USS Cole off Yemen that killed 17 sailors.
Both are death-penalty cases, to be decided by a jury of U.S. military officers.
However, the majority of the men at Guantánamo remain in detention, without charges and with little chance of leaving any time soon. There is either scant evidence or the evidence that exists is too tainted by allegations of torture to be used in court. Only three of the current detainees have ever been convicted of crimes.
As of today, a federal task force has approved the transfer and possible release of 84 of the detainees.
But because their home countries are so violent and turbulent — or in some instances because of Congressional restrictions — the U.S. cannot release them.
I posed the same question to Rosenberg: Why do you care?
“For me it’s not exactly about those men, about those captives. I don’t do it because I care about them,” she said. “I care about us.”
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the court in one landmark Guantánamo decision, wrote: “The laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times.”
Our country’s founders knew that secret courts can abuse their authority and saw a transparent judiciary and independent press as the way to ensure that justice was done.
The Miami Herald continues our commitment to cover the detention center at Guantánamo Bay because it’s our obligation to report on a place where few can go. We don’t cover Guantánamo to get anyone off, or out of jail. We do it to show the American people and the world what is being done in our name.