National Security

Biden Will Try to Close Gitmo. Again

Written by SK Ashby

Reuters exclusively reported this morning that the Biden administration is taking the initial steps to revive the Obama-era effort to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The Trump regime quickly abandoned that effort when they took power, but President Biden is reportedly planned to sign an executive order to close the prison sometime this year.

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. [...]

The immediate impact of a new approach could be to reinstate, in some form, the Guantanamo closure policy of Biden’s old boss, former President Barack Obama, which was reversed by Donald Trump as soon as he took office in 2017.

Trump kept the prison open during his four years in the White House. Now, 40 prisoners remain, most held for nearly two decades without being charged or tried.

I feel like I'm beating a dead horse by pointing this out even though it's been years, but President Obama tried to close the Gitmo prison every single year he was in office and he was consistently thwarted by Congress.

During Obama's first term, he was countermanded by both parties in Congress including a significant number of Democrats who opposed the prison's closure. Republicans who took full control of Congress during his second term were largely responsible for blocking his efforts beyond that point. Congress primarily used the annual, mandatory National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to block the prison's closure.

President Obama was repeatedly attacked by the right for trying to close the prison, but he was also attacked by the left for not closing it. And he did what he could by reducing the number of prisoners held there over time, but completely closing the prison was out of his hands and his liberal critics never acknowledged that.

I don't know if President Biden will be any more successful at closing the prison, but this is as good of a time as any to try. It's hard to imagine the opposition to closing it could be that strong now.