Guantanamo Bay, American universities and the Fresh Prince | Daily skimming

Guantanamo golf course

The story

It has been 20 years since the first detainees arrived at Guantanamo Bay.

Catch me up.

In 2002, 20 American prisoners arrived on the Cuban island, four months after the September 11 attacks. This decision allowed the US military to interrogate prisoners outside of US soil and limit some of their US constitutional rights. Since then, the United States has housed around 780 prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, many of whom have suffered torture. And its operation has come under increased scrutiny in recent years.

Keep on going.

Senate Democrats called Gitmo “a symbol of lawlessness and human rights violations.” In 2009, then-President Obama decided (unsuccessfully) to shut down Gitmo as he reopened relations with Cuba and its Communist regime. Then-President Trump signed an OE to keep it open. But the decision came with the hindsight of Congress. Weeks after his inauguration, President Biden launched a formal review of the prison with the stated aim of shutting it down under his tenure. But it’s not clear if that will go through Congress.

Now what?

Only 39 prisoners remain. More than a dozen of them have yet to be charged and have been dubbed “prisoners forever”. House Democrats have echoed calls from human rights activists and called on President Biden to shut down Gitmo “once and for all”. They say the cost of running the prison (about $ 13 million per prisoner each year) could be better spent elsewhere. But some Republican senators say that the release of detainees is an “unnecessary” risk.


The United States left Afghanistan and released or transferred hundreds of detainees. But it was never officially announced the end of the 20-year war on terrorism. For some, Guantanamo Bay represents a necessary front in this war. For others, it is a reminder of the taint of the mission itself.

And also … This

Where math doesn’t add up …

American universities. Earlier this week, five former students sued Yale, Georgetown, Columbia and 13 others for violating antitrust laws. Schools are allowed to work together to determine the amount of financial aid awarded, only if they do not. consider students’ ability to pay in their admissions decisions. But the lawsuit claims schools have unfairly limited aid to the most needy students. And that schools have participated in a “price-fixing cartel” by overcharging students and inflating the cost of college. Students who have received partial financial aid and graduated within the past 18 years may be eligible to join the lawsuit. Yale says its financial aid policy is “100% compliant” with all laws, while Brown said the complaint was without merit.

Who responds to a higher power now …

Robert Durst. Yesterday, the convicted murderer and real estate heir died in prison at 78 of natural causes. Durst – heir to the New York-based Durst Organization real estate fortune – was linked to suspected murders dating from 1982 to 2001. He has long been suspected of the still unresolved disappearance of his first wife Kathleen in 1982. In 2021, Durst was convicted of the murder of his friend Susan Berman. And sentenced to life imprisonment. But was acquitted for the 2001 murder of his neighbor Morris Black. Durst was a cartoon villain. He once dressed as a woman as a fugitive – with $ 100 million in the bank. And was the subject of the 2015 HBO series “The Jinx” in which he unwittingly said into a hot mic, “Killed them all, of course.”

What is bacon, we think pigs can fly …

This. Last week, doctors transplanted a genetically modified pig’s heart into a human. The Maryland hospital where it happened yesterday said the patient with heart disease is doing well – so far. And that she will continue to follow her progress in the coming days. This is the first such transplant in history. An attempt to transplant a baboon heart to an infant in 1983 failed after 20 days. It brings hope to the tens of thousands of Americans who are waiting to receive organs. Doctors call this a “watershed.”

Why do people call “fumble” on the NFL …

Brian Flores. Yesterday marked Black Monday. That’s when the NFL regular season ends and head coaches start getting “can you come to my office” emails. Four head coaches were made redundant. But among them was Flores – one of only three black head coaches in the NFL. He was let go despite the Miami Dolphins beating their division rivals. This decision sends shock waves through the entire team, who say they are “grateful” to have worked with him.

As the Fresh Prince returns to Bel-Air …

Georgia comes home with a trophy.

What we have answers to now …

Vaccines. Period.

Skimm’d by Rashaan Ayesh, Kate Gilhool, William Horn, Julie Shain and Mariza Smajlaj