The hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay, which began in February, shows no sign of abating. Indeed, defense lawyers say more than 100 of the facility’s 166 detainees have joined in. The strike was triggered when guards searched copies of the Koran for contraband. But the protest is also one of the few methods that detainees — many of whom have been cleared for release, but are being held because of a lack of stability in their home nations — have to remind the world that they still exist.
The farther we get away from Sept. 11, 2001, the harder it is to justify this facility. The hunger strike should remind President Obama of his unkept promise to close it. Detainees imprisoned for more than a decade had high hopes of being released, or at least put on trial, when Obama took office. But only a handful of trials have moved forward, at a glacial pace. Transfers out of the facility have ground to a halt.