Biden administration launches review aimed at closing Guantanamo…

Aides involved in internal discussions are considering an executive action to be signed by President Joe Biden in coming weeks or months.

They’re afraid they will end up there serving out the rest of their lives for their crimes against America.

Biden wants to make sure he’s not going here either.

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Joe Biden launches review to let him close Guantanamo Bay’s infamous military prison and could take action within ‘weeks’

Reuters

The Biden administration has launched a formal review of the future of the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay with the goal of closing the controversial facility in Cuba, a White House official said on Friday.

Aides involved in internal discussions are considering an executive action to be signed by President Joe Biden in coming weeks or months, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters, signaling a new effort to remove what human rights advocates have called a stain on America’s global image.

‘We are undertaking an NSC [National Security Council] process to assess the current state of play that the Biden administration has inherited from the previous administration, in line with our broader goal of closing Guantanamo,’ National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne told Reuters.

‘The NSC will work closely with the Departments of Defense, State, and Justice to make progress toward closing the GTMO facility, and also in close consultation with Congress,’ she added.

How it is now: This is the current military prison at Guantanamo Bay where detainees from the war on terror are held
Khalid Shaikh Mohammad, who is the suspected architect behind the 9/11 attacks, is housed at Guantanamo Bay
Khalid Shaikh Mohammad has been detained at the prison in Cuba  since 2006

Khalid Shaikh Mohammad, who is the suspected architect behind the 9/11 attacks, is housed at Guantanamo Bay. He was captured in Pakistan in 2006 (right)

The way it was: The first images of Guantanamo Bay's Camp X-Ray were released in January 2002 and became notorious worldwide. At its peak there were 800 inmates but there are now just 40

Such an initiative, however, is unlikely to bring down the curtain anytime soon on the high-security facility located at the Guantanamo Naval Station. 

Set up to house foreign suspects following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington, it came to symbolize the excesses of the U.S. ‘war on terror.’  

Trump kept the offshore prison open during his four years in the White House – though he never loaded it up with ‘bad dudes,’ as he once vowed.

He allowed the release of one prisoner, a Saudi who had admitted being part of al Qaeda and who had been cleared for released by the Obama administration.

Four other detainees who were cleared for release by Obama were  

 Now, 40 prisoners remain, most held for nearly two decades without being charged or tried.

The most high-profile is Khalid Shaikh Mohammad, who is the suspected mastermind of the September 11 terror attacks, and other al Qaeda atrocities.

There was outrage last month when a plan for him and other detainees to get vaccinated for COVID ahead of ordinary Americans, in an attempt to get his trial going. The Pentagon backed down on the move.

Biden’s campaign said during the 2020 race that he continued to support closing the detention center but did not say how he would do it.

It is also unclear how specific Biden’s coming executive action might be about his plans for the prison, which holds suspects in the Sept. 11 attacks among its detainee population.

Move by Biden: His National Security Council is starting a process which could lead to a formal closure plan within weeks or months

2018: Trump signed order to keep Guantanamo Bay open

Signaling that the process is still at an early stage, Horne said ‘a number of key policy roles still need to be filled within the interagency, including confirming sub-Cabinet policy roles at the Defense, State, and Justice Departments.’

‘There will be a robust interagency process to move forward on this but we need to have the right people seated to do this important work,’ she said.

Biden, who was Obama´s vice president, can expect to face many of the same steep political, legal and diplomatic obstacles that frustrated his former boss.

Former President George W. Bush opened the prison and its population grew to a peak of about 800 inmates before it started to shrink. 

Obama whittled down the number further but his effort to close the prison was stymied largely by Republican opposition in Congress. 

The federal government is still barred by law from transferring any inmates to prisons on the U.S. mainland. 

Even with his own Democratic party now controlling Congress, their majorities are so slim that Biden would face a tough challenge securing legislative changes because some Democrats might also oppose them. 

Now, 40 prisoners remain, most held for nearly two decades without being charged or tried.