President Obama today signed orders to close down the Guantanamo detention center within a year, requiring immediate review of the cases of the remaining 245 detainees there.
In 2007 the Reader‘s Tori Marlan wrote Growing Old in Gitmo, about Mohamed Mohamed Hassan Odaini, a 21-year-old Yemeni prisoner who’d been been arrested in 2002 and ordered released by the U.S. government in 2005–and was still waiting to be set free. This morning Marc Falkoff, the Northeastern Illinois University law professor who’s taken up Odaini’s case, confirmed that he is still at Guantanamo.
One of the problems with releasing him, and other Yemeni prisoners–who Falkoff says make up more than a third of the remaining detainees–is that the Bush gang never successfully negotiated with Yemen for the terms of the men’s homecoming. Obama has ordered renewed diplomatic efforts in the countries to receive the detainees; Falkoff says he feels confident in the new administration to reach a solution.