Up | January 27, 2013
>>> i read that guantanamo and they removed the black bag from my head and the muffs from my ear and blind folds, you know, it was a big shock to me. and i said to myself is this america that respects human rights ? during the preliminary investigations, interrogations, i mean, i thought that america was a great country and that there was justice and freedom and human rights and that they were realized during a day or two that -- or maybe a month that they would realize that i am innocent and they will let me go home to my family, but it was totally the contrary. this is something that i will never forget.
>> that's lakhdar boumediene , a guantanamo detainee. is there a plan right now to close the facility?
>> i don't think there's a plan to close the facility. obviously the administration is working to transfer the people that they can transfer, but i don't think there's -- there's no plan without congress approving the money to transfer the people that they don't want to release to american soil, which, you know, for all sorts of reasons, you know, even civil liberties groups oppose it as long as the administration is still relying on indefinite detention without trial as a kind of terrorism tool. so there's -- it's hard to see a way in which guantanamo gets closed in the next three years.
>> does this mean that we're just erosion? is it just going to stay open until all of these people die? i'm serious, is that what we're looking at, just sort of bleak years, not months?
>> it is really to that point because there is no end game here. everybody kind of agrees that the so-called global war on terror , which in my view was never a war except to the degree that we made it a war, has a defined end date and so the whole geneva convention requirement about the release of prisoners of war after the end of hostilities, how do you define the end of hostilities if you don't have a declared war in the first place.
>> i think one of the things this returns us to, which is a theme that has emerged and jay johnson gave that speech to the department of defense talking about an end to this permanent -- this war, this quasi-permanent war state. the president in his inauguration talked about the dangers of a permanent war state. we had barbara lee on the program last weekend who was the one person to vote against the authorization of the use of military force and who is now sponsoring congressional legislation to repeal the use of military force . it seems whenever we cover anything from this sphere it points back to the question you raised, which is like how long are we in the state of war ? can the state of war ever end? if you're in a state of war that can never end, something is wrong. something is definitionally wrong, i think.
>> we have some recent history to draw from. when we look at the early cold war there was a state of emergency really from 1948 until some vague point in the 1960s after kennedy essentially. and so it took us, you know, almost two decades to figure out what that looked like and the kind of normalized procedures and processes within that. and it may take that long, which is a real state of war with respect as well. we'll see.
>> in respect to what josh is saying in that 20 or 30-year period there was a lot of political posturing that was cropping up. the specter of communism around the world and the u.s. was taking very aggressive policies with respect to that and we're seeing a lot of that specter come up with respect to terrorism. the question really is not how long will the war last, the question is what the hell is this war that we're fighting? legally, how does that lead to our ability to drop drones on the rest of the world .
>>> what you should know for the newsweek ahead coming up