Twenty-four of Guantanamo Bay’s 166 inmates are on a hunger strike to protest President Barack Obama’s broken promise to close the detention facility.
“They had great optimism that Guantanamo would be closed. They were devastated apparently…when the president backed off, at least (that’s) their perception, of closing the facility,” said General John Kelly during a House of Representatives Armed Services Committee meeting.
Some prisoners also claim they are protesting the mishandling of the Koran.
“No way has the Koran in any way, shape or form been in any way abused or mistreated,” said Kelly.
The general said some of the 24 hunger strikers have been sneaking snacks in their cells; two experienced dehydration and eight were being force-fed with liquid nutrients.
“Generally speaking, we think about 24 of them are on, say, hunger strike light, where they’re eating a bit but not a lot, but they’ve declared that they’re not eating,” said Kelly. Those being fed by feeding tube “present themselves daily, calmly, in a totally cooperative way, to be fed through a tube…we also know they’re eating when they’re in their cells.”
Guantanamo prisoners are not the only ones upset with Obama’s broken promise to close the detention facility. In January, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other progressive groups blasted Obama’s failure to close the camp.
“President Obama has utterly failed the first test of his second term, even before inauguration day,” said Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union.
During his 2008 bid for the White House, Obama made numerous promises to close Guantanamo. In November 2008, Mr. Obama told CBS News reporter Steve Kroft: “I have said repeatedly that I intend to close Guantanamo, and I will follow through on that.”