President's failure to offer a plan to close Guantánamo

October 14, 2015
The Hill

President Obama's efforts to close Guantánamo suffered a serious blow recently.  Congress passed an annual defense authorization bill that includes new, strict requirements for transferring detainees from Guantánamo, including many long cleared for release.  The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) also bans detainee transfers to the United States and a handful of other countries, including Yemen, home to most of the 114 remaining detainees.  It is plainly part of an attempt to thwart the president's promise to close Guantánamo, but he has no one to blame but himself.

In July, the president promised to send members of Congress a plan to close Guantánamo before he leaves office in 15 months.  His senior counterterrorism advisor, Lisa Monaco, said the plan would call for repatriating or resettling more than 50 detainees currently approved for transfer; speeding up the Periodic Review Board process for about 40 additional men to determine their eligibility for transfer; bringing a small number of men into the United States for prosecutions; and detaining any remaining men in stateside prisons indefinitely.  Monaco said the administration would work with Congress to implement the plan and loosen transfer restrictions under current law. ...

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Last modified 

October 15, 2015