Guantanamo Bay was never meant to be an Ellis Island. However, one of the first executive orders issued by President Obama was to close this facility, likely bringing some of these prisoners to United States soil.
Unfortunately, Mr. Obama issued this order before he actually had a plan in place to deal with some of the world's most dangerous individuals. Last week, we traveled with five members of Congress on a bipartisan congressional delegation trip to Guantanamo Bay to see this facility up-close in order to determine its suitability for housing these terrorists. In reality, each of us had our own set of beliefs and preconceived notions about Guantanamo Bay. However, what we actually saw exceeded our expectations and challenged our preconceptions.
For instance, despite allegations and perceptions, enhanced interrogation techniques such as waterboarding or sleep deprivation have never occurred at Guantanamo. The most severe punishment detainees receive is to lose two hours of their mandated four hours of recreational time outside.