U.S. News Reports From Guantanamo Bay:
- A Terrorist's Defense: Fighting for Men Most Americans Hate
- Most Pressing Question at Guantanamo: When Will it End?
- Gitmo Detainee Lashes Out at Judge
- Intelligence Agents Could Monitor Gitmo Detainee, Lawyer Meeting Rooms, Official Says
- Wife of 9/11 Victim Finds Solace in Courtroom Minutia
- Special Forces Soldier, Son of Fallen Firefighter, Among 9/11 Hearing Witnesses
- Guantanamo Judge Mutes Mics After Defense's Spying Claims
- Lawyers for Alleged 9/11 Hijackers Claim Government Eavesdrops on Private Talks
A Pentagon spokesman says the military does not believe the Gitmo detention facility necessarily protects America.
"None of us believe that keeping Guantanamo open is in America's security interests. It deteriorates our standing globally, it is a focal point for jihad," says Army Lt. Col Todd Breasseale, a Department of Defense spokesman. "The department doesn't believe that sending detainees is necessary to keeping America safe. We never have."
"We also didn't solicit this mission. The department didn't solicit the former administration to give us a prison to manage that's outside some people's understanding of the two branches of public international law," he adds. "As long as we have the mission, we're going to do it securely, we will do it humanely and we will work to do it effectively."
"The idea that we would still maintain, forever, a group of individuals who have not been tried, that is contrary to who we are."
"If nothing changes, the prisoners now at Guantanamo will stay there until they die," says Air Force Lt. Col. Sterling Thomas, a military lawyer representing one of Mohammed's co-defendants, Ammar al Baluchi.
Only a small number of the 166 detainees still at Guantanamo Bay are designated for trial, he says. The U.S. government has claimed the power to hold the remaining detainees indefinitely, even if they are acquitted.
"The vast majority are being held indefinitely, with no resolution in sight," he says.
Yemeni protestors dressed in prison uniforms, chant slogans during a demonstration April 16 demanding the release of Yemeni detainees in Guantanamo Bay prison in front of the U.S. embassy in Sanaa, Yemen. (Hani Mohammed/AP)