U.S. military officials denied any lives were in danger but acknowledged that resistance and frustration among the detainees is growing, a development that a senior general said is because they are “devastated” that President Barack Obama’s pledge to shut down the facility has not been fulfilled.
“They had great optimism that Guantanamo would be closed,” said Gen. John Kelly, the commander of the U.S. Southern Command, when asked about the hunger strikes during testimony before the House Armed Services Committee. “They were devastated, apparently… when the president backed off — at least their perception — of closing the facility.
“He said nothing about it in his inauguration speech,” Kelly continued, referring to President Obama. “He said nothing about it in his State of the Union speech. He has said nothing about it. He’s not — he’s not restaffing the office that… looks at closing the facility.”