Trump Signs Order to Keep Guantanamo Open

31 January, 2018, 10:53 | Author: Jason Torres
  • US military guards walk into Camp Delta military-run prison at the Guantanamo Bay US Naval Base Cuba. Brennan Linsley  AP

President Donald Trump has signed a new executive order announcing his intent to keep the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay open, the White House announced Tuesday.

In his speech, Trump said that the United States "foolishly" released hundreds of terrorists, including the leader of Daesh terrorist group.

"Along with their heroic afghan partners, our military is no longer undermined by artificial timelines and we no longer tell our enemies our plans", Trump said.

In his first State of the Union address to Congress, Trump made clear he was fulfilling a campaign promise to keep operating the prison for foreign terrorism suspects at the US military base at Guantanamo, Cuba. I just signed prior to walking in an order directing Secretary Mattis, who is doing a great job, thank you, to reexamine our military detention policy and to keep open the detention facilities in Guantanamo Bay.

Trump would do so by issuing an executive order that retains the USA right to move new detainees to the facility if warranted, but there are no plans to do so, according to a State Department official.

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The move reverses an Obama-era executive order to shutter the controversial prison - a goal that the former president was not able to achieve before leaving office in 2017. Obama transferred 197 detainees out, leaving 41, including five cleared for release.

The prison, which was opened by President George W. Bush to hold suspected militants captured overseas after the September 11, 2001, attacks, came to symbolize harsh detention practices that opened the United States to accusations of torture. "And in many cases, for them, it will now be Guantanamo Bay", the president added to applause.

Mr Trump's order says this review process would continue to be used to determine whether detainees should be held.

In 2009, Obama signed an executive ordered stating that the prison be closed "as soon as practicable, and no later than one year from the date of this order", but it remains open because of resistance from Congress. "Symbolically, it reaffirms his interest in perpetrating a symbol that has greatly damaged the United States".

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