When he took office, President Obama pledged to close the military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. But Congress and much of the public are against such a proposal for the remaining 166 detainees.
President Obama is renewing his stalled effort to close the military detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. It was a promise he made when he first ran for president, but one he couldn’t keep when Congress began blocking funds for releasing or transferring hundreds of prisoners captured as part of the war on terror.
In a speech at the National Defense University in Washington Thursday, Mr. Obama said “Gitmo,” as it’s known, “has become a symbol around the world for an America that flouts the rule of law.”
In addition to asking Congress to lift the restrictions on detainee transfers, the president listed several other steps he intends to take.
“I have asked the Department of Defense to designate a site in the United States where we can hold military commissions,” he said. “I am appointing a new, senior envoy at the State Department and Defense Department whose sole responsibility will be to achieve the transfer of detainees to third countries.
"I am lifting the moratorium on detainee transfers to Yemen, so we can review them on a case-by-case basis," Obama continued. "To the greatest extent possible, we will transfer detainees who have been cleared to go to other countries. Where appropriate, we will bring terrorists to justice in our courts and military justice system. And we will insist that judicial review be available for every detainee.”
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