In the news...

May 24, 2013

Obama vows to close Guantanamo detention facility

Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

President Barack Obama May 23 vowed to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, saying the prison has become a symbol of an America that flouts the law.

Obama spoke at the National Defense University at Fort Lesley J. McNair here. His discussion on the Gitmo facility was part of a larger discussion on counterterrorism policy.

The original premise for opening the detention center at Guantanamo was that detainees would not be able to challenge their detention, he noted during his remarks, but added the Supreme Court found that unconstitutional five years ago.

In the meantime, Gitmo has become a symbol around the world for an America that flouts the rule of law,î the president said. ìOur allies won’t cooperate with us if they think a terrorist will end up at Gitmo. During a time of budget cuts, we spend $150 million each year to imprison 166 people ñ almost $1 million per prisoner. And the Department of Defense estimates that we must spend another $200 million to keep Gitmo open at a time when we are cutting investments in education and research here at home.

Obama has tried to close the facility and transferred 67 detainees to other countries before Congress stopped the process, he noted. ìThese restrictions make no sense, he said.

Obama said he believes these detainees can be held in U.S. prisons and prosecuted in U.S. courts. ìNo person has ever escaped from one of our super-max or military prisons in the United States,î he said. ìOur courts have convicted hundreds of people for terrorism-related offenses, including some who are more dangerous than most Gitmo detainees.

The president called on Congress to lift the restrictions on detainee transfers from the facility.

ìI have tasked the Department of Defense to designate a site in the United States where we can hold military commissions, he said. I am appointing a new, senior envoy at the State Department and Defense Department whose sole responsibility will be to achieve the transfer of detainees to third countries. I am lifting the moratorium on detainee transfers to Yemen, so we can review them on a case-by-case basis. To the greatest extent possible, we will transfer detainees who have been cleared to go to other countries. Where appropriate, we will bring terrorists to justice in our courts and military justice system. And we will insist that judicial review be available for every detainee.

There will still be detainees who have participated in attacks on Americans who cannot be prosecuted due to tainted evidence, Obama noted. But once we commit to a process of closing Gitmo, I am confident that this legacy problem can be resolved, consistent with our commitment to the rule of law, he said.

The president was interrupted several times by a heckler who yelled that the president should close the facility now. He said her voice needed to be heard.

Obama asked if Guantanamo is the kind of legacy America wants or deserves. Is that who we are? Is that something that our founders foresaw? Is that the America we want to leave to our children?î he asked. Our sense of justice is stronger than that.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines April 14, 2014

Business: U.S. Navy looks to leverage submarine work to keep costs down - The U.S. Navy hopes to save money and time by leveraging industry investments as it replaces its Ohio-class nuclear-armed submarines with the Virginia-class attack submarines now built by General Dynamics Corp and Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc.  Study raises red flags on California aerospace...
 
 

News Briefs April 14, 2014

U.S. Navy destroyer Zumwalt christened in Maine The U.S. Navy has christened the first ship of its newest class of destroyers, a 610-foot (186-meter)-long warship with advanced technologies and a stealthy design that will reduce its visibility on enemy radars. The warship bears the name of the late Adm. Elmo ìBudî Zumwalt, who became the...
 
 
Navy photograph by Seamn Edward Guttierrez III

Russian aircraft flies near U.S. Navy ship in Black Sea

Navy photograph by Seamn Edward Guttierrez III Sailors man the rails as the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook arrives at Naval Station Rota, Spain, Feb. 11, 2014. Donald Cook is the first of four Arle...
 

 

45th Space Wing launches NRO Satellite on board Atlas V

The 45th Space Wing successfully launched a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., at 1:45 p.m. April 10 carrying a classified national security payload. The payload was designed and built by the National Reconnaissance Office. “I am proud of the persistence and focus of the...
 
 

U.S. Air Force selects Cubic for Moroccan P5 air combat training system

Cubic Defense Systems, a subsidiary of Cubic Corporation announced April 11 it has been awarded a contract valued at more than $5 million from the U.S. Air Force to supply its P5 Combat Training System to the Moroccan Air Force. Morocco will join the United States Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps, along with a...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph

NASA’s Orion Spacecraft powers through first integrated system testing

Lockheed Martin photograph Engineers in the Operations and Checkout Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, perform avionics testing on the Orion spacecraft being prepared for its first trip to space later this ye...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>