Review of Articles

Having represented several Guantanamo Bay detainees in court, Coyne tries to show that most the detainees in these detention camps are not guilty of terrorism. According to Coyne, being branded as “terrorists” or “al Qaeda fighters” is not right as some of these detainees are neither terrorists nor al Qaeda. He shares with the reader some real life confessions from some of his clients, who were compelled by the detention officials to admit that they were either terrorists or al Qaeda. In a bid to defend of these detainees from the tag “terrorists”, Coyne relies on the Seton Hall study that suggested that over 95 percent of detainees in these camps were not captured in the battlefield. He argues that some might have been captures because of fate or not being in the right place at the right time. In fact, the government records show that only 8 percent of these detainees can be characterized as al Qaeda fighters, while the remaining 92 percent have no definite connection with this terrorist group. Coyne’s article is an eye opener to those of us who believed that every detainee at the Guantanamo Bay or other Military Detention Camps were either terrorists or members of the outlawed group. 

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In this article, John takes issues with the characterization of Guantanamo Bay as an issue that concerns international laws and U.S, law’s withdrawal or breakdown. Against this account, Johns believes that the Guantanamo Bay issue is to some degree, a work of legal classification and representation. Johns highlights the public about the plight of Guantanamo Bay’s detainees in relation to the strategies of arrest, interrogation, and control that are being used by the authorities in Guantanamo Bay. According to Johns, these strategies are being sustained in part through evisceration, domestication, and evasion of experience regarding the decisions over exceptions. In section one of his article, Johns gives a vivid picture of the jurisdiction order of the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. What many might not know is that this base maintains its own school, water, power, and internal transportation system. Johns develops his facts and ideas by referring to government records and official characterization of decision making at this bay. The author offers a critical analysis of Carl Schmitt’s reading which theorizes exceptions. Johns’ analysis gives the public a clear picture of the activities that transpire inside this base.

In this article, Maris tries to enlighten the public about the longstanding conflict between the Cuban authorities and the American authorities over the control of this bay. He takes the reader back in time when the United States assumed control over the southern portion of Guantanamo Bay, as stipulated in the 1903 Cuban Treaty. Through this text, Maris is able to enlighten the public about the content of the treaty, which granted the U.S. perpetual lease of the area. In fact, the public is able to understand that the United States maintains the de facto sovereignty over the bay whereas Cuba still retains the ultimate sovereignty over the territory. In 1960 however, Cuban President, Fidel Castro refused the $3,386.25 rent that the U.S. was paying as rent for this territory. Maris compares the Canal Zone Treaty with the 1930 Cuban Treaty to establish America’s position in this territory. Maris goes further to quote some articles for the 1930 Cuba Treaty that restricts citizens of both nations from conducting certain activities within and around the bay. For instance, article I and II specifies that the leased area is solely for the purposes of coaling and naval stations. Likewise, Article III stipulates that no individual, partnership and corporation shall be allowed to run a commercial or industrial enterprise within the territory. He concludes by arguing that the United States honored its end of the deal by meeting all the leasing obligations in an admirable manner.

In this article, Olson and Soldz commend Constanzo, Gerrity, and Lykes on their recommendation about the scientific and ethical considerations that are relevant in the evaluation of the roles of psychologists in national security interrogations. These recommendations require that the American Psychological Association should;

  • Condemn torturous, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in interrogation of suspects as well as banning Psychologists from participating from such interrogations
  • Investigate the role that psychologists as well as the extent to which these psychologists have been involved with the use of torture and other degrading means in interrogation of suspects, and take drastic actions if warranted and;
  • Develop explicit codes and guidelines which are consistent with the international treaties and human rights covenants. 

While supporting the above recommendations, Olson and Soldz insist that psychologists should not be allowed to take part in the interrogations of detainees at Guantanamo Bay as this is unethical.

  In this article, Scharf and Gillespie highlight the plight of detainees in American Military bases in Guantanamo Bay, Iraq and Abu Ghraib. To these authors, Guantanamo bay detention camp is a disgrace as it is associated with all controversies that are associated security detention. Unknown to many people, Scharf and Gillespie show how the U.S. is depriving detainees off their liberty with the claim of protecting itself from potential threat to its national security. The authors are concerned on the manner in which the U.S and other European countries such as Canada and United Kingdom are handling this situation. They are of the opinion that detaining individuals in such detention camps is a noble idea, but holding them without charging them, torturing them and ignoring their basic rights is a violation of the fundamental American notion of liberty and rule of law. They are in consensus with the U.S. President, Barack Obama over the closure of this detention base, although shutting it down is not a comprehensive solution to the issue of security detentions in the U.S. and other countries. 

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