A report released Sunday, nearly 20 years after the first prisoners arrived at Naval Station Guantánamo Bay, details \u0022systematic abuses carried out by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and U.S. military\u0022 since the 2001 terrorist attacks.\r\n\r\n\u0022Thus far, Biden administration actions raise sobering questions about its commitment to ending the so-called \u0026#039;War on Terror.\u0026#039;\u0022\r\n\r\nEntitled Legacy of the \u0022Dark Side\u0022: The Costs of Unlawful U.S. Detentions and Interrogations Post-9/11, the new paper was published by Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Costs of War Project at Brown University\u0026#039;s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs.\r\n\r\n\u0022This report lays out a comprehensive assessment of the many unconscionable costs of U.S. torture and illegal detentions and renditions of Muslims over the past 20 years since 9/11,\u0022 said Stephanie Savell, co-director of the Costs of War Project, in a statement. \u0022This is a moral failure of epic proportions, a stain on the nation\u0026#039;s human rights record, a strategic blunder, and an abhorrent perpetuation of Islamophobia and racism.\u0022\r\n\r\nThe authors assess the \u0022massive costs of U.S. extraordinary renditions, unlawful detentions, and torture after September 11—including to the victims and suspects, to U.S. taxpayers, and to U.S. moral authority and counterterrorism efforts worldwide, ultimately jeopardizing universal human rights protections for everyone.\u0022\r\n\r\nThey argue that \u0022significant counterterrorism reforms, including closing the prison at Guantánamo, strengthening measures to protect civilians from death and harm, increasing transparency and accountability for the crimes the U.S. has committed, and addressing religious and racial biases, are critical steps toward mitigating the damage.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe assessment comes ahead of Tuesday, which will mark two decades since \u0022the first 20 men to be imprisoned at Guantánamo were flown to the base aboard a U.S. military plane.\u0022 There are now 39 men detained there; 27 of them have not been charged with a crime.\r\n\r\n\u0022Many lack adequate medical care and even access to their medical records, making the prison a living legacy of the rights violations spawned by 9/11,\u0022 the report explains. \u0022The military commission system created to prosecute suspects at Guantánamo is fundamentally flawed. As a result, the five prisoners accused of plotting the 9/11 attacks have yet to be brought to trial, depriving them of due process and the survivors and the families of the nearly 3,000 people who died in the attacks of their right to justice.\u0022\r\n\r\nAs Common Dreams reported late last month, the Pentagon is supposedly building a new $4 million courtroom, to be assembled at Guantánamo by next year, that will enable prosecutors to hold two simultaneous trials.\u0026nbsp;\r\n\r\nAt least 780 men and boys have been held at the prison since it opened in 2002, after then-President George W. Bush declared a \u0022war on terrorism,\u0022 and at least 119 people were subjected to the CIA\u0026#039;s rendition, detention, and interrogation (RDI) program, the HRW and Costs of War report notes. No U.S. officials have been held accountable for that torture.\r\n\r\nThe military prison has remained open—costing U.S. taxpayers $540 million per year—under former Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump, and now President Joe Biden, who has signaled that he intends to close Guantánamo.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u0022Around the world, Guantánamo remains one of the most enduring symbols of the injustice, abuse, and disregard for the rule of law that the U.S. unleashed in response to the 9/11 attacks,\u0022 report co-author Letta Tayler, an associate director in HRW\u0026#039;s Crisis and Conflict Division, said in a statement.\r\n\r\nTayler and co-author Elisa Epstein, a University of Chicago Law School student who was previously an advocacy officer at HRW, pressure Biden to finally shut down the prison, and more.\r\n\r\n\u0022Biden should take bold steps to repair the damage from abusive U.S. interrogations and detentions, starting with the closure of the U.S. prison at Guantánamo,\u0022 Tayler and Epstein write. They also urge him to release the 2014 \u0022torture report\u0022 from the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee, noting all but a heavily redacted summary remains classified.\r\n\r\nThe authors point out that Biden, like Obama and Trump, \u0022has shown no appetite for releasing the torture report, much less criminally investigating the architects\u0022 of the RDI program, and that the president \u0022also opposes allowing the International Criminal Court to include abuses by U.S. nationals in its investigation on grave human rights crimes in Afghanistan.\u0022\r\n\r\nAs the paper details:\r\n\r\n\r\nThe Taliban\u0026#039;s return to power and the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021 will test the U.S. government\u0026#039;s legal rationale for indefinite law-of-war detentions at Guantánamo, as well as the Biden administration\u0026#039;s commitment to adopting a more rights-respecting approach to counterterrorism. Thus far, Biden administration actions raise sobering questions about its commitment to ending the so-called \u0022War on Terror.\u0022 Measures of concern… include the Justice Department\u0026#039;s willingness to side-step critical legal questions on habeas rights for the men held at Guantánamo and to block certain testimony related to CIA torture, and Biden\u0026#039;s apparent intent to continue using lethal force outside recognized war zones with drone strikes and special forces raids euphemistically rebranded as \u0022over the horizon\u0022 operations.\r\n\r\n\r\nThe authors highlight that \u0022abroad, the U.S. has continued abusive practices against terrorism suspects including transferring them to countries that torture, and, in at least some cases, unlawfully detaining them at U.S.-run sites abroad or at sea.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022Although such U.S. detention-related counterterrorism violations have dramatically decreased, Washington has replaced capture with kill, conducting airstrikes—often with armed drones that have killed thousands of civilians, including outside recognized battlefields,\u0022 they note. \u0022Its counterterrorism campaign has spread to 85 countries with scant transparency or oversight.\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nTayler and Epstein recommend that Biden \u0022increase transparency and accountability for other crimes and violations perpetrated in the name of countering terrorism, including unlawful airstrikes and raids that kill and injure civilians both in and out of recognized war zones.\u0022\r\n\r\nThe president \u0022should officially apologize and provide redress to victims,\u0022 they add, asserting that \u0022anything less not only inadequately addresses the suffering and death wrought by the U.S., but also risks perpetuating cycles of violence by fueling the narrative of groups like the Islamic State and al-Qaeda that the West is at war with Islam.\u0022\r\n\r\nThis post has been updated with comment from Stephanie Savell and Letta Tayler.