National Security

Trump Plans to Rescind Obama’s Order to Close Gitmo

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

President Obama signed an executive order to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on his first day in office nearly a decade ago, but Trump intends to rescind that order.

Politico reports that Trump will likely make the announcement during the State of the Union Address.

The executive order, according to a draft State Department cable that officials are planning to soon send to U.S. embassies around the world, would rescind part of a separate 2009 order signed by then-President Barack Obama mandating that the facility be “closed as soon as practicable.”

The order has limited practical effect: Obama was never able to make good on the order amid resistance from members of Congress, who blocked his efforts to move detainees to prisons in the United States and raised concerns that released inmates could revert back to terrorism. However, Obama moved nearly 200 Guantanamo inmates to the custody of foreign countries during his presidency. Just 41 detainees remain in the facility today.

As Politico helpfully points out, Congress blocked President Obama's efforts to close the prison every single year he was in office, including his very last year.

During Obama's first years in office, congressional Democrats joined Republicans to overwhelmingly vote against closing the prison. During the latter years of the Obama administration, congressional Republicans refused to pass a National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would allow him to close the prison.

President Obama was able to transfer hundreds of detainees away from the prison before he left office, but it's still open. Less than 50 prisoners remain there today.

In addition to being a humanitarian and civil liberties disaster, the prison is also an enormous waste of money costing hundreds of millions of dollars every year.

  • muselet

    A question I wish were asked far more often of any president—not just Donald Trump, but now’s as good a time as any to start—is “why?”

    In this specific case, “Why do you want to keep the Guantanamo prison camp open?” It would be a fine question to ask of congresscritters, too, although, as ever, the answers would be more amusing than illuminating.

    Giving up the US’s moral standing in the world for less than nothing is a lousy deal to make. The Rs should be ashamed (but then they’re incapable of shame).

    –alopecia

  • Badgerite

    Watch the people on the left who were continually giving President Obama grief for the fact that he couldn’t get GITMO closed down go utterly and completely……silent. Crickets.

  • Aynwrong

    Half the appeal Trump has to so called middle America is this kind of hyper macho nonsense. It’s stuff that makes sense to aging white guys who earned a PhD from History Channel U™ while never rising from their recliners and thinking:

    “Yeah! That’s just what George Patton would do, and he’s someone that I’ve heard of!!!”

  • And during the SOTU, Republicans will cheer wildly at the announcement.

    Fascists.

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