Obama’s plans to shut down military prison at Guantanamo Bay met with criticism

By Brittany Abuhoff
Staff Writer

President Obama at a press conference

Photo: Associated Press

On Tuesday, Feb. 23, President Barack Obama announced plans to close down the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay and uproot a law that prohibits moving violent extremists onto U.S. soil.

“If we don’t pass what’s required now…future generations are going to look back and ask why we failed to act when the right course, the right side of history, and justice and our best American traditions was [sic] clear,” Obama stated.

Much of Obama’s plan was “unclear” and met critically by Republican leaders in Congress.

According to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., it is “a vague menu of options, not a credible plan for closing Guantanamo, let alone a coherent policy to deal with future terrorist detainees.”

Under the plan, a number of prisoners will be moved to other countries in the next few months, but many of them will be relocated to new facility in the U.S. that, according to information from the Pentagon, will cost $4.7 million to build.

The plan mentions 13 potential areas where the detainees can be moved—sites where there are existing prisons or military facilities.

As there are very few maximum-security prisons deemed capable of housing prisoners currently at Guantanamo, but Congress is currently working on a bill to move the existing 700 detainees to prisons in the U.S.

According to Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., “Closing the detention facility at Guantanamo will strengthen our national security and affirm our values and laws.”

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