President Obama is more than four months past the deadline he set to shutter the internationally infamous Camp Delta War on Terror prison and interrogation facility here. Approximately 180 detainees remain behind the wire and within the walls of the seven camps of the prison. They have been here for years and most have never been charged with a crime or wartime offense. Attorneys representing Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen imprisoned here as a teenager in 2002 and one of the few charged with a crime–murder and material support for terrorism– will argue at a pre-trial hearing tomorrow that coerced testimony should be banned from his military commission trial.
Khadr was 15 when he was apprehended. He is considered a child soldier by groups such as Amnesty International. He is 24 now. He has been in custody at Camp Delta for a third of his life. Under the rules established by Obama’s Military Commissions Act of 2009, evidence obtained through cruel and inhumane treatment is inadmissable.
For now, it’s unclear when the Obama administration will actually close the facility. It could happen before the end of the year. The Defense Department has asked Congress for $350 million to carry out the closing and to purchase a new Illinois prison to house any remaining prisoners. The Department has placed the request into its request for Afghanistan war funding. That choice reflects the bipartisan resistance in Congress to closing Camp Delta.
Washington Independent national security reporter Spencer Ackerman is on the ground at Camp Delta and will be reporters Khadr’s Commission trial. He toured facilities today and sent photos. “Military command has reviewed every photograph presented here to prevent inadvertent disclosures of classified information,” he writes. “Seven photographs I took were deleted.”
Ackerman: “Here is a shot from the recreation yard at Camp 4. The only towers we’re allowed to photograph are manned towers– and only then if the guards’ faces aren’t clearly identifiable. The crouching detainee in the lower right pulled the collar of his shirt above his nose to obscure his face enough so that any photograph of the scene could clear a security review.”
See the rest of the photos at the Washington Independent, the Colorado Independent’s sister site in DC.