Prisoners of Guantanamo Bay should get a fair trial

Last week, President Barack Obama expressed his plans to veto the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013, the annual defense spending bill because it limits the executive branch from relocating detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison facility to other countries, including the U.S.
The prison has become infamous for multiple human rights violations, ignoring prisoners’ right to trial and has run behind a veil of secrecy and stark legislation since its inception in 2002. Though the prison holds some of America’s most dangerous enemies, the policies of the Bush administration under the Patriot Act need to be reexamined and Guantanamo should be closed. 
Obama has voiced his plan to close the controversial prison during his tenure in the White House, but has been met with opposition from Congress. During deliberations on the matter Thursday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said “the American people do not want … to bring these crazy bastards that want to kill us all to the United States,”
saying the prison is a “satisfactory answer to the problem of terrorism.”
It is this type of propagandist fear-mongering that followed the 9/11 attacks that led to the creation of Guantanamo Bay outside of the public eye and off of American soil. Because the U.S. feared terrorism to such an extent, it allow the military to detain hundreds of people without a trial and inhumanely torture them in a quest for answers.
When George W. Bush’s administration passed the Patriot Act, it allowed the government to detain individuals it suspected were affiliated with al-Qaida and house them at Guantanamo Bay. According to the New York Times, of the 779 prisoners who have been detained at the military prison, 169 remain and eight have either died of natural causes or committed suicide. The rest were transferred to other countries, including two to the U.S.
Despite the serious nature of the crimes and potentially dangerous affiliations that the detainees at Guantanamo Bay are accused of, they should still be given the access to a trial and treated humanely. Through the military prison, the U.S. should not assume that terrorism is beyond the realm of traditional justice, and should hold itself to a higher standard and give the detainees their day in court as is done for anyone else accused of committing a crime.
Retaining these 169 prisoners at Guantanamo only fuels more anti-American sentiments around the world and is a violation of human rights. The prison should be closed, and with dialogue again at the forefront of discussions, now is the time.