Year after year, the U.S. State Department issues an annual report that criticizes the Cuban government for detaining some of its citizens in prison indefinitely, without charging them with crimes or bringing them to trial.
But let’s be fair. This criticism applies only to a specific part of Cuba – the 99.9% of the island that is under the control of the Cuban government. It doesn’t apply to the 0.1% of Cuban sovereign territory that is under the control of the United States – Guantánamo Bay – where, for the last decade, the U.S. government has been detaining people in prison indefinitely, without charging them with crimes or bringing them to trial.
The existing prisoners at Guantánamo are non-Americans who are suspected of being terrorists or of aiding terrorists, although some probably did little more than watch movies about terrorists or look up the word “terrorist” in a dictionary. Now, the 2012 U.S. military spending bill that is poised to become law will let Washington expand the profile of prisoners to include U.S. citizens arrested within the United States who have some presumed connection with terrorism.
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This piece was originally posted in the Global Journal on December 19, 2011.