Trump Reverses Obama, Orders Gitmo Kept Open

President says it's necessary to fight terrorism
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 30, 2018 9:40 PM CST
In this 2006 file photo, reviewed by a U.S. Department of Defense official, U.S. military guards walk within Camp Delta military-run prison, at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base, Cuba.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

(Newser) – President Trump made some tangible news during his State of the Union address Tuesday: He announced that Gitmo is staying open indefinitely. “In the past, we have foolishly released hundreds of dangerous terrorists, only to meet them again on the battlefield," said the president. With that in mind, he said that earlier on Tuesday he signed an order directing defense chief James Mattis to "keep open the detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay.” The decision reverses a 2009 order by President Obama calling for the facility to be closed, notes the Washington Post.

Trump made the case that the move is necessary for national security in the fight against terrorists. "When necessary, we must be able to detain and question them," he said. "But we must be clear: Terrorists are not merely criminals. They are unlawful enemy combatants. And when captured overseas, they should be treated like the terrorists they are." The group Physicians for Human Rights criticized the decision, reports NBC News, asserting that "the facility is a symbol of US torture and injustice known around the world." (Read more State of the Union Address stories.)

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