"The problems have now sort of shifted a little bit to how the trials will be conducted, where the trials will be conducted," Pingree says. At the cost of "an enormous amount of money," the US has built a massive courthouse at Gitmo, with room enough for trials with multiple defendants and extensive capability for closed-circuit televisions and teleconferencing with witnesses and attorneys elsewhere, including the US.

But even that initiative faces what Pingree calls "an increasing stalemate" because of complaints about the fairness of the military tribunal system set up to handle inmates' cases.

And ultimately, it is those kinds of problems that convince Pingree the prison does need to close. "To the rest of the world, Guantanamo is a symbol of a country that says it lives by the rule of law, (but) that denied habeas corpus, that used torture to get evidence," she says. If we do close it, we will affirm our belief in the law; if we don't, "they'll say we're just American hypocrites."

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