Joe Biden is planning to close the United States detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, NBC News reported.
President Joe Biden has quietly begun efforts to close the U.S. detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, using an under-the-radar approach to minimize political blowback and to try to make at least some progress in resolving a long-standing legal and human rights morass before the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
After initial plans for a more aggressive push to close the facility — including rebuffed attempts to recruit a special envoy to oversee the strategy — the White House changed course, sources said. The administration has opted to wait before it reaches out to Congress, which has thwarted previous efforts to close the camp, because of fears that political outcry might interfere with the rest of Biden’s agenda.
In addition, he plans on doing so quietly.
“They don’t want it to become a dominant issue that blows up,” a former senior administration official who is involved in the discussions on closing the base said of Biden officials. “They don’t want it to become a lightning rod. They want it to be methodical, orderly.”
The plan is to send some of the terrorism suspects to foreign nations and then convince Congress to allow the rest, including some who are suspects in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, to be housed in prisons on the mainland.
There are only 40 detainees left at Guantanamo Bay. As NBC News reported:
President George W. Bush opened the detention facility in 2002. At its peak, it held nearly 800 detainees, including 9/11 suspects and combatants from the battlefield in Afghanistan. By the time Obama took office in 2009, fewer than 300 detainees were in the camp.
During his campaign for president, Obama had pledged to shutter the prison within a year of taking office. Two days after he was inaugurated, he issued an executive order to close Gitmo by the end of the year, and he restated the goal in media interviews.
Congress, however, resisted the transfer of detainees to the U.S. The House and the Senate rejected funding for the move and also blocked the transfers, with many Democrats voting against the Obama administration’s plans.
This is an excerpt from Conservative Brief.
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