Making a Case for those Wrongly Detained in Guantanamo Bay
Post 9/11, Kuwaiti citizens were working tirelessly for the release of family members unduly detained at the U.S. prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. At the same time, millions of Americans were questioning the legality and constitutionality of the camp itself. The situation was a powder keg that held innocent lives and the values of a nation in the balance.
American officials and the public at large had to be made aware of the moral, legal and societal issues that supported the release of the Kuwaiti prisoners. The task was all the more difficult due to the anger and mistrust many Americans still felt toward Arab cultures in the wake of the worst terrorist attack ever on U.S. soil.
A campaign to generate support for the legal rights of the Kuwaiti detainees leveraged the Supreme Court decisions of 2004 and 2008 as the basis for reaffirming American legal and political values. SCOTUS, not just the detainees, was the strategic center of interest. At the same time, it was important to put human faces on the detainees, as men with families who were being held without formal charges and without access to proper judicial procedures.
Editorials in favor of legal rights for the detainees appeared in 98 of the top 100 U.S. newspapers. Eight of 12 prisoners have been released since the work began.