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 August 18, 2014

News: U.S. mission in Iraq could expand, Pentagon official says - The mission for U.S. troops in Iraq to help Kurdish and Iraqi security forces in their fight against Islamic militants remains limited for now, but may expand after Iraqi leaders form a new government, a Pentagon spokesman said Aug. 19.   Business: Fuel deals top...
 
 

News Briefs August 20, 2014

Trials complete on fourth Coast Guard cutter Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Miss., has completed acceptance sea trials for the company’s fourth U.S. Coast Guard national security cutter, Hamilton. Jim French, Ingalls’ NSC program manager, tells The Mississippi Press) the Hamilton is scheduled to be delivered next month and commissioned on Dec. 6 in Charleston, South...
 
 
Northrop Grumman image

Northrop Grumman developing XS-1 experimental spaceplane design for DARPA

Northrop Grumman image Northrop Grumman Corporation with Scaled Composites and Virgin Galactic is developing a preliminary design for DARPA’s Experimental Spaceplane XS-1, shown here in an artist’s concept. In addit...
 

 

82 F-16Ds removed from flight status due to longeron cracks

WASHINGTON – U.S. Air Force officials recently removed 82 two-seat F-16D Fighting Falcons from flight status due to the discovery of canopy sill longeron cracks found between the front and rear pilot seats. The cracks were discovered following an immediate action time compliance technical order, or TCTO, to inspect all F-16D due to initial structural...
 
 

News Briefs August 18, 2014

New U.S. strikes in Iraq include land-based bombers The latest round of U.S. airstrikes in Iraq against the Islamic State extremist group includes the first reported use of land-based bombers in the military campaign. U.S. Central Command says a combination of bombers, fighter jets, attack planes and unmanned drones hit targets near Iraq’s largest dam...
 
 

Headlines August 18, 2014

News NATO would respond militarily to Crimea-style infiltration: general If Russia tries to infiltrate troops into a NATO country, even out of official military uniform as it did before it annexed Ukraine’s Crimea, NATO will respond militarily, the alliance’s top commander said in an interview published Aug. 17. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/08/17/us-ukraine-crisis-breedlove-i...
 




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>