President Barack Obama speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016, to discuss the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Complicating matters for the White House, Obama recently signed the Defense Authorization Act and Defense appropriations measure into law, which contain provisions preventing the transfer of Guantanamo detainees to the U.S. The White House is expected to say those provisions are unconstitutional.
Currently, the administration must inform Congress of plans for any transfers, but those notices are classified. There’s certainly an irrational element of reflexive fear of allowing detainees into the country, but there’s also a fierce partisan unwillingness to do anything that might burnish the president’s legacy.
“It would be illegal under current law to transfer foreign terrorists from Guantanamo into the United States”, said Majority Leader Sen.
A similar bill was introduced in the House by Republican Representative David Jolly.
Defense officials have been surveying sites inside the United States to see how well they might do as the new homes for Guantanamo detainees.
President Barack Obama presented a long-shot plan to shutter Guantanamo Bay prison yesterday, hoping to fulfill an elusive campaign promise before he leaves office next year.
But for reasons still being debated in these circles, Obama has waited long enough to act that political opposition to the idea has built so much that, today, it’s quite possible he missed his window altogether – at least if he wants to avoid total political upheaval.
The President said that it cost $450 million past year to keep Guantanamo running, with another $200 million to keep it open moving forward.
In this November 21, 2013, file photo reviewed by the US military, dawn arrives at the now closed Camp X-Ray, which was used as the first detention facility for al-Qaida and Taliban militants who were captured after the September 11 attacks at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba.
U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey: “Eight years later, the President is trying to make good on an ill-conceived campaign promise in spite of bipartisan opposition over the years and the risks to the American people”.
The U.S. officials Tuesday said the plan would save the U.S. government between $65 million and $85 million per year compared to housing detainees at Guantanamo.
Perdue said, “Americans will not stand the thought of placing terrorists on US soil, and the transfer of detainees to other countries does not erase the threat of their continued extremist actions”.
“Law enforcement officials across the nation have spoken against bringing them into their communities”, Rounds said.
They said it will cost between $290 million and $475 million for construction at the various US sites, depending on the location.
That vote, like the one Sanders criticized Clinton for casting, was overwhelming – a 90-to-6 vote to block Obama’s request for funds to shutter the facility in Cuba until the President laid out plans for what to do with the then-240 detainees there. When Obama took office, the number had fallen to 245 detainees. “I think most of the men still being held are a relatively hard-core group”.
“Terrorists like Richard Reid, the shoe bomber; Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who tried to blow up an airplane over Detroit; Faisal Shahzad, who put a auto bomb in Times Square; and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who bombed the Boston Marathon – they were all convicted in our Article III courts and are now behind bars, here in the United States”, the president said. “The infamy of Guantanamo has never been its physical location, but rather an entrenching a system of indefinite detention without charge”, Shakir explains.