Charlie Savage, reporting from Gitmo, ginsus right through the glib consensus that closing the prison would (by itself) do anything.
William Lietzau, the top detainee policy official at the Pentagon, argued that the difficulty the administration has had in closing the prison — which it sees as a propaganda symbol for terrorists and as a much more expensive facility to operate than a domestic one — should be considered separately from its effort to develop “principled, credible and sustainable” detention policies.
When the two become linked, he said, “it sometimes feeds the implicit narrative that having detainees at Guantánamo is somehow inherently unlawful or immoral… but the Supreme Court has upheld wartime detention.”
Got that? The hunger strike at Gitmo is, for the first time in years, resurrecting the PR problem with keeping the facility. The alternative is holding the same people captive for years but without a recognizable PR hook. You almost wonder why Republicans remain so intransigent about closing Gitmo.