Last week, it was reported that the majority of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba were on a hunger strike. Yesterday, President Barack Obama discussed the starvation attempts and said he does not want to run the prison any longer.
"I don't want these individuals to die," he said. "Obviously the Pentagon is trying to manage the situation as best as they can. But I think all of us should reflect on why exactly we are doing this? Why are we doing this?"
He said it is no longer necessary to keep over 100 people in the prison, as the war in Iraq is winding down as well as the war in Afghanistan.
"We're having success defeating al Queda, we've kept the pressure up on all these transnational terrorist networks, when we've transferred detention authority in Afghanistan - the idea that we would still maintain, forever, a group of individuals who have not been tried, that's contrary to who we are, it's contrary to our interests, and it needs to stop," he said.
Obama admitted Gitmo is a "lingering problem" that will only get worse.
"Now, it's a hard case to make, because for a lot of Americans, the notion is out of sight, out of mind, it's easy to demagogue the issue," he said.
It is true that Americans want to keep it open, as a 2010 poll indicated that 55 percent wanted to have it running while 32 percent wanted it closed. The remaining people did not know how to answer.
Some have argued that it is necessary to keep it running, even if it is evil.
Former attorney general Edwin Meese II said Gitmo is "invaluable" and said the War on Terror is "different from all previous wars in the sense that we would ned to rely more on tactical and strategic intelligence to thwart and defeat the enemy than traditional military might."
Meese also argued that under the "law of war," capturing enemy combatants is fair game.
And he made the point that neither Bush or Obama proposed a feasible alternative to Gitmo, which would need to be done before the prison is closed.