Why hasn’t Obama closed Guantanamo?

We speak to former White House counsel, Gregory Craig, and also ask if it is time to end the war on drugs.

US President Barack Obama signed an executive order in 2009, announcing the shutdown of Guantanamo Bay. With just over a year left of his presidency, will he fulfil his promise to close the detention centre?

On this episode of UpFront, Mehdi Hasan speaks to Gregory Craig, former White House counsel. We also highlight the inconsistent way the label “terrorist” is used, and, as more and more countries start to change their drug laws, we ask if it is time to end the war on drugs.

Headliner: Former White House counsel, Gregory Craig

In 2009, US President Barack Obama signed an executive order, announcing the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention centre. The man who drafted that order was then-White House counsel, Gregory Craig.

More than six years later, Guantanamo remains open. And with Congress passing legislation this week that blocks the transfer of detainees to the US, can the president fulfil his promise to shut down the facility?

In this week’s Headliner, Mehdi Hasan asks Craig about the likelihood of Obama closing Guantanamo before the end of his presidency.

Reality Check: Spot the “terrorist”

Since 9/11, almost twice as many Americans have been killed in the US by far-right “extremists” than by Muslims, according to a recent study. Yet, a double standard has emerged in the way the “terrorist” label is applied.

In this week’s Reality Check, Mehdi Hasan highlights the inconsistencies in whom officials and media view as a “terrorist”.

Arena: Is it time to end the war on drugs?

In 1971, US President Richard Nixon declared a war on drugs. More than four decades later, some countries have started to change their approach.

In Ireland, the drugs minister announced plans to move towards the decriminalisation of heroin, cocaine and cannabis. In Mexico, a recent Supreme Court ruling opened the door to the legalisation of cannabis. And earlier this month, the US released more than 6,000 nonviolent drug offenders from prison.

So, is it time to end the war on drugs?

In this week’s Arena, Johann Hari, journalist and author of Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs, debates with former US Republican Congressman Ernest Istook.

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