The Lawfare Podcast: General Michael Lehnert on Closing GITMO

By Cody M. Poplin
Saturday, March 21, 2015, 1:55 PM

This week, we invited Major General Michael Lehnert (Ret.), the first commander of the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to chat on the show. In January 2002, General Lehnert deployed to Guantanamo Bay as Commander of Joint Task Force 160 with the mission to construct and operate the detention facilities for Taliban and Al Qaeda detainees. He is now one of the more prominent voices calling for the closure of the prison facility. In the interview, General Lehnert describes those early days of uncertainty before GITMO became "GITMO," how, while facing a policy vacuum in Washington, he built and managed the facility, and what he thinks should be done with the remaining detainees now. In the end, he offers advice for how future policymakers can avoid  mistakes when conducting critical missions and making hard national security choices.

You can read General Lehnert's most recent piece calling for the closure of Guantanamo Bay detention facility at Politico