One of the concerns about closing the Cuba facilities for detainees is that it would only lead to detainees disappearing into unknown facilities. That concern seems to have been realized with regard to the CIA secret prisons. Since they were first revealed by the media, the Administration has promised to shut them down. It appears that they have been emptied but there is no record where the former detainees have gone. For the full story, click here Many have no doubt been shifted into the facilities of other countries used in the controversial extraordinary rendition program: where U.S. officials hand over detainees to be tortured by countries like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
What is interesting is that, once disclosed, the Administration did not try to defend the creation of these facilities. Yet, the disclosure was pursued as a national security threat by journalists and led to calls for their prosecution. Now, Attorney General Mukasey has pledged to oppose any federal shield law to protect such reporters. In the total absence of oversight by both democrats and republicans, these prisons would have never been made public without the work of the fourth estate: the media. The federal shield law should be a priority for the democratic Congress, but it clearly not on the list of must do items (as has been the cases for decades).