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Sources: Obama shrinking Guantanamo ahead of Trump

President Barack Obama, in his final month in office, is moving to leave as few prisoners in Guantanamo Bay as possible.

obama shrinking guantanamo

Notifying Congress that the administration intends to transfer out some of the detainees before Donald Trump is sworn in.

The Gitmo downsizing move could rankle Trump, who pledged during the campaign to keep the prison open and “load it up.
The notification comes on the last day possible, as the administration is legally required to provide Congress with 30 days notice prior to transferring any of the on facility’s detainees.

Congressional officials would not say exactly how many the administration is seeking to transfer, although one official said it would be fewer than the 22 who are eligible.
The panel is comprised of national security officials who determine whether the remaining detainees represent a threat to the US.

Obama came into office pledging to shutter Guantanamo but his efforts were largely rebuffed by a Republican-led Congress that passed legislation barring the Defense Department from transferring inmates to US soil.

“The politics of fear has led Congress to prevent any detainees from being transferred to prisons in the United States,” Obama told US troops at MacDill Air Force Base, the headquarters of Central Command, earlier this month.

“Until Congress changes course, it will be judged harshly by history, and I will continue to do all that I can to remove this blot on our national honor.

Months have seen a major uptick in relocations, with the largest detainee transfer under Obama taking place in August, with 15 inmates going to the UAE.

Many of the remaining detainees are thought to come from countries like Yemen, which are considered too unstable to adequately receive and monitor former prisoners, making the agreement of third-party countries like the UAE essential to completing the relocations.

While it is clear that Obama will not be able to live-up to his initial pledge to close the detention facility, as he plans to hand off power to Trump on January 20 it appears that his team is striving to leave as few inmates as possible.

Trump has pledged to keep the Guantanamo open, telling a crowd in February in Nevada: “We’re gonna load it up with some bad dudes.


Article Themes

Detainees, Administration, Transfer, Congress, Inmates, Trump, Obama, Remaining, Guantanamo, Prisoners

 Sources: Obama shrinking Guantanamo ahead of Trump – CNNPolitics.com