Gitmo base awaits uncertain future

The Miami HeraldMay 10, 2009 

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba -- Captives watch in confusion as workers weld fences around new soccer fields, part of the Pentagon's plan to improve prison camp conditions. Around the base, U.S. troops arrive on regular rotations and wonder what comes next.

Everyone here knows that President Barack Obama ordered the prison camps emptied by Jan. 22. But aside from the president's executive order posted at the prison camps, signs of the coming shutdown are hard to find.

These are days of uncertainty at this remote outpost in southeast Cuba.

"Some detainees are saying, `You are still doing construction. Are we leaving or not?' '' says Zaki, an Islamic cultural advisor who doesn't want his last name published for fear of retribution.

The guards have no answers: "We just say, `It's coming.' '' The renovations will continue, he says, "until the last detainee.''

Even as they do, Washington politicians churned this past week with opposition to bringing the men to U.S. soil.

a href="" target="_blank"> Read this story on

McClatchy Washington Bureau is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service