The Obama Administration is denying journalist access to the Guantanamo detention facility despite pledging 'transparency' about the infamous prison.
The reporters, who were previously allowed to peek into the prison while covering military trials of the detainees there, are no longer given such authorization, FOXNews reported on Monday.
Arguing in favor of the decision, Defense Department Spokesman Bryan Whitman said "Past experience has led me to believe it is best to keep these visits focused on the purpose of the trip, which in this case is military commission motions," not the detention camps.
"…the decision, according to multiple sources, is coming out of Washington and the Defense Department," said the network's Catherine Herridge.
"…it is clearly not consistent with the administration's stated goal of transparency," she added.
Under the banner of the war on terror, former president George W. Bush set up the facility in a US naval base in Cuba shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks. Ever since, the prison has earned notoriety for conducting torture-aided interrogations of alleged 'terror' suspects.
The White House has now even adjourned the military trials at the Guantanamo, taking away the only opportunity journalists had to access the prison.
Shortly after his inauguration in January, Obama signed an official order to shut down Guantanamo within a year, describing it as a "sad chapter in the American history."
Recently, however, the White House reportedly decided against the closure, citing legal and logistical complexities surrounding the detention and prosecution of inmates held without any charges.
The recent news blackout came, according to Herridge, after a May incident in which two Chinese detainees at Guantanamo's Camp Iguana compound "held up signs questioning whether the president was a communist or a Democrat and they questioned whether Mr. Obama was oppressing them because they had not been released five months after the president promised to close Guantanamo within a year."
"…multiple sources have told us this incident was the straw that broke the camel's back,” asserted Herridge. “It was highly embarrassing for the Defense Department and for the White House and this was, interestingly enough, the last trip for the journalists to the camps to cover the commission hearings."
Over 220 inmates are currently held at Guantanamo, widely regarded as one of many American torture chambers reserved for Muslims with “suspected” ties to anti-US terrorism. Many inmates remain in prison unaware of any charges against them and with no right to a legal counsel.