President Obama hasn't delivered on his promises on Guantanamo Bay and is unpatriotic in keeping the prison open, according to the prison camp's former chief prosecutor
Amid an on-going hunger strike by 100 detainees, Colonel Morris Davis, who worked at the base in Cuba between 2005 and 2007, told The Huffington Post that the president needed to "fulfil his promise" made in 2009 to close the controversial prison set up by George W Bush to hold terror suspects.
Speaking on HuffPost Live, the colonel said Obama "had a good talk in the past and hasn't delivered on it".
"It's fundamentally un-American to keep people locked away indefinitely without trial, so he needs to follow through on that.
"We used to say we are the 'land of the free and the home of the brave', we spent the last 11 years living like the constrained and the coward."
On Tuesday Obama insisted he still wanted to close the camp. He made the comments at a press conference in Washington as 100 of the 166 detainees stage a hunger strike to protest against their continued incarceration.
"I don't want these individuals to die," Obama said. "Obviously the Pentagon is trying to manage the situation as best as they can. But I think all of us should reflect on why exactly are we doing this? Why are we doing this?"
He added: "I continue to believe that we need to close Guantanamo. I think it is critical for us to understand that Guantanamo is not necessary to keep us safe. It is expensive, it is inefficient, it hurts us in terms of our international standing, it lessens cooperation with our allies on counterterrorism efforts, it is a recruitment tool for extremists. It needs to be closed," he said.
Davis said the "patriotic thing to do" would be for the US authorities to give the detainees their day in court. "I don't know if he [Obama] wants his legacy to be the continuation of this black hole we have had at Guantanamo," he said.
Davis, who served in the US Air Force for 25-years, has started an online petition calling on the president to shut the prison camp.
The petition states: "There is something fundamentally wrong with a system where not being charged with a war crime keeps you locked away indefinitely and a war crime conviction is your ticket home."