Do you remember Obama’s inauguration day promise to close the Guantanamo torture camp within a year? Well, 8 years later he is getting closer.
As part of what seems like a whirlwind of activity in the last few weeks of his presidency, President Obama has told Congress that he plans to resettle as many as 19 detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, according to The Root.
Despite this move, about 40 prisoners will remain at Guantanamo. This is a massive fail on his Inauguration promise to close down the illegal torture camp known for things such as sodomizing prisoners, and torturing innocent people.
The Root reports the transfer plans will reportedly move a group of prisoners to the United Arab Emirates and additional inmates to Oman, Saudi Arabia and, possibly, Italy. Since Obama took office, the United States has repatriated or resettled 179 prisoners, a significant decrease from a peak population of 700 under President George W. Bush, who was commander in chief during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York’s World Trade Center.
Some believe this epic fail will tarnish the presidential career of Obama.
“History is going to judge [Obama] badly for his failure to close Guantanamo and particularly for his failure to do everything he has legal authority to do,” said Wells Dixon to CNN. The senior staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, represents Guantanamo prisoners.
A White House spokesperson comments on how the continuation of the torture camp weakens our country.
“The continued operation of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility weakens our national security by draining resources, damaging our relationships with key allies and partners and emboldening violent extremists,” said Emily Horne, a White House spokeswoman.
President-elect Trump has not made extensive public comments specifically on the Guantanamo torture facility, but has publicly supported torture. Although former POW and Senator, John McCain, has a different opinion and suggests people may stand up to Trump on the topic.
Trump has also indicated that he plans to use the prison part of his counterterrorism policy and “load it up with some bad dudes,” possibly even trying U.S. citizens there, a move prohibited by current U.S. law.
Obama failed badly on his promise to close the prison within 1 year, but he has reduced the prisoner count significantly in 8 years. Time will tell if Trump will follow through on his plans to expand torture or if he will continue the Obama administration’s trend of reducing the illegal and immoral actions of the torture camps.
(Article by Jeremiah Jones)