Ever since President Obama declared his intention to close down Guantanamo Bay prison, where 240 captives still remain, it is still not known how many others are still rotting at the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the world. Their detention without trial under the due process of law has been described by the US media as "a shame for the American justice system." President Obama intends to close down Guantanamo prison by January 2010 to uphold the American values of human rights and justice enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and The Bill of Rights. However, the Republican members of Congress spearheaded by former Vice President Dick Cheney are bent upon refusing to sanction considerable funds required to demolish the Guantanamo facility on the Cuban soil. They are making a lot of noise that if the detained terrorists are released they will pose a serious threat to national security of the United States. This argument has been brushed aside by President Obama that they can be shifted to maximum security prisons in America. Obama feels that it is a blot on the American judicial system to lock up people indefinitely without trial. This in fact puts the US in the same class as Myanmar and Gambia. Another argument in favour of the prisoners is that those with identifiable nationality should be sent back to their home countries with the condition that the US would keep monitoring them. And that they are tried and punished if found guilty. But even if they are a threat to the US this is no reason to hold them in torture cells indefinitely without trial. This is a mess left by the Bush administration that must be cleared up by President Obama to restore the prestige of the nation which believes in human rights and due process of law. A distinguished law professor and member of the society of law teachers says that as the debate intensifies in the Congress, over who knew what about the torture techniques or ordered it, is a matter of great concern to the fair-minded Americans who are not willing to sit on the same side. The time has come to expose them, and try them under the due process of law if found guilty. They need not be necessarily low level uniformed soldiers as in the case of Abu Gharaib prison in Iraq, who were court-martialled and dishonourably discharged. No finger was pointed at the politicians or high level officials of the government who authorised the torture techniques and ordered the prison staff to implement them. A group of 200 organisations has called upon Attorney General Eric Holder, to appoint a special prosecutor for criminal investigation of those alleged to have committed this crime. Besides this, numerous organisations and individuals have filed complaints with Bar Associations to debar 12 alleged "torture lawyers" of the Bush administration. A Spanish court has started criminal investigations against six high level lawyers who wrote the 'Torture Memos'. The court has written to President Obama asking whether the US intended to prosecute them under the Convention against torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. A storm has been raised by Republican members against of the Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who said CIA misled the Congress of the worst kind of torture used in Guantanamo called Waterboarding. Many high-ranking Republican members of the Congress are accusing Ms Pelosi of lying and demanding her resignation. These are the people who are still supporting Bush policies of injustice and torture openly. But if President Obama survives all the hurdles in his way he will certainly turn the tide against the dark days of Bush who not only allowed torture in the prisons of his own country but also in the Abu Gharaib prison in Baghdad which he conquered on the pretext of the lies about the Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq. An American writer says: "We cannot stick our heads in the sand just by punishing some small fries who committed the crime of torturing the inmates of the prisons and let the powerful people, who approved the techniques of torture, get away scot-free. We cannot restore the prestige of the US and its image as a law abiding nation, unless we get hold of two or three senior most people in the Bush administration accountable for these crimes and punish them under the due process of law". Undoubtedly, the Americans want to erase this horrible dark blot on the face of their nation. The writer is former director news, PTV E-mail: burhanhasan@hotmail.com