Guantanamo closure

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Pentagon Releases 9 Guantanamo Inmates

The men had been held for approximately 14 years without charges

(Newser) - Nine prisoners have been released from Guantanamo and sent to Saudi Arabia, dropping the inmate population at the infamous prison to 80, Reuters reports. The release was announced Saturday by the Pentagon. All nine prisoners were Yemeni men captured during the war in Afghanistan, according the New York Times . They... More »

Obama's New Plan to Close Gitmo: Move 56 Inmates to US

Plan would see 35 detainees moved to other countries

(Newser) - The White House responded to Congress' request for a blueprint for the closure of Guantanamo Bay on Tuesday—though NPR reports that President Obama's proposed plan is "not expected to go very far." It would see 35 of Guantanamo's 91 inmates transferred to other countries by... More »

GOP Seeks Halt as 5 More Gitmo Inmates Freed

Transfers to Estonia, Oman bring population down to 122

(Newser) - The release of five more detainees yesterday brought the inmate population at Guantanamo Bay down to 122—and brought President Obama a little closer to finally fulfilling his promise to close the detention center—but the transfer came just a day after Republicans proposed legislation to stop the releases. The... More »

Obama Mulls Veto to Shut Guantanamo

Officials: Obama weighing options to move detainees to US

(Newser) - President Obama is considering overriding a congressional ban on bringing Guantanamo prisoners to the US in an effort to close the Cuban prison, the Wall Street Journal reports. Lawmakers are strongly against the move, which "would ignite a political firestorm, even if it's the best resolution for the... More »

General Who Opened Gitmo: It Was a Mistake

The whole detention strategy was wrong, Lehnert says

(Newser) - The Guantanamo Bay detention center was a huge mistake that should never have been opened, according to none other than the general who got it up and running in 2002. "In retrospect, the entire detention and interrogation strategy was wrong," Gen. Michael Lehnert writes in the Detroit Free ... More »

Kerry Adviser's New Job: Closing Gitmo

Sloan to reopen closure office

(Newser) - John Kerry says that if anyone can close Guantanamo Bay, it's his adviser Clifford Sloan. The Washington lawyer is expected to be named as the Obama administration's new envoy tasked with reopening the State Department's Office of Guantanamo Closure, the AP reports. Sloan's long and bipartisan... More »

Military's Plan: Build New $49M Prison at Gitmo

Instead of closing, military wants upgrades

(Newser) - It's been four years since Barack Obama promised to close Gitmo, but not only are the camps still open, now the US military wants $49 million to build a new prison building there, reports the New York Times . With the new building—which would apparently replace Camp 7, where... More »

State Dept. Shuts Office in Charge of Closing Gitmo

Daniel Fried gets moved to sanctions-policy issues

(Newser) - The State Department all but raised the white flag on closing Gitmo today, quietly reassigning the special envoy in charge of shutting down the notorious prison, the New York Times reports. The office of Daniel Fried is being closed, with no one to replace him, as his work is "... More »

Our Prisons Could Safely Hold Every Gitmo Detainee

Facilities have room, necessary security: report

(Newser) - US prisons are capable of taking on all 166 Guantanamo Bay detainees, thereby allowing the US to close the facility, a report finds. "This report demonstrates that if the political will exists, we could finally close Guantanamo without imperiling our national security," says Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who commissioned... More »

Guantanamo Bay Turns 10

And appears no closer to closure than it was 2 years ago

(Newser) - Today is a birthday, but probably not one you want to celebrate: Guantanamo Bay is turning 10, an anniversary that will be marked by protests here and abroad. Ten years ago, the first 20 detainees were flown to the detention facility in chains. Several of those 20 remain at Gitmo... More »

The Reason Guantanamo Still Isn't Closed

When it comes to resettling prisoners, others want US to go first

(Newser) - Two years ago yesterday, President Obama pledged to close the prison camps at Guantánamo Bay within one year. So why are they still open? Much of the blame falls on Congress, the Miami Herald reports. Because Congress won’t allow any of the captives—even those considered low-risk—to... More »

White House to Authorize Indefinite Detention

Draft order part of plan to close Gitmo, administration says

(Newser) - The Obama administration is preparing a draft executive order to formalize indefinite detention of Guantanamo detainees without trial—but officials stress that the order is a key part of its plan to close the facility. The order—which would apply to 48 of the 174 detainees still held at Gitmo—... More »

Graham: White House Bailed on Gitmo Talks

Admin Says It's Open to Further Talks

(Newser) - There was a time when the White House and Sen. Lindsey Graham seemed close to striking a bipartisan deal on closing Guantanamo Bay and other national security issues, but in May those talks “went completely dead,” Graham tells Politico . “They could never quite pull the trigger,”... More »

Lindsey Graham 'Courageous' Defying GOP

He's often alone in bucking the Republican purity police

(Newser) - After offering a Gitmo compromise to President Obama, Lindsey Graham got called everything from a "cretin" to someone making a "deal with the devil" this week by his fellow Republicans. That's just business as usual for Graham, whose designation may as well be "R-No Man's Land,"... More »

DC Consensus: Obama Should've Listened to Rahm

As big ticket failures abound, Emanuel's practicality could have helped

(Newser) - From health care reform to unemployment to Guantanamo Bay, many Washington insiders think President Obama would be much better off today had he listened to his brash-but-practical chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel. Top staffers like David Axelrod have a “strong view of the historic character Obama is supposed to... More »

Don't Close Gitmo Just for Symbolism

Detention center is ugly but necessary, writes Michael Gerson

(Newser) - Guantanamo Bay is an ugly place to Americans and the rest of the world but there's no point in closing it just for the sake of symbolism, writes Michael Gerson. George Bush decided against closing it because of the problem of what to do with the detainees. President Obama opted... More »

Panel: 50 Gitmo Prisoners Must Be Kept Indefinitely

Task force says 110 can be released

(Newser) - A task force spearheaded by the Justice Department recommends that 50 of the 196 detainees at Guantanamo Bay be held indefinitely without trial. The group, providing a specific breakdown for the first time, determined that the 50 prisoners were too dangerous to release and that any trial would expose state... More »

Lawyers for Yemeni Detainees at Gitmo Doubt Release

Recent terror activity, GOP outrage may complicate closure

(Newser) - Strong talk from GOP leaders and former Bush officials, and the emergence of al-Qaeda links in Yemen have lawyers for Yemeni detainees at Gitmo pessimistic about releases that seemed certain just recently. “I feel like my two clients who left in mid-December have gotten the last train out,”... More »

With No Funds for Ill. Prison, Gitmo Closure Unlikely Until '11

Obama's next request months away

(Newser) - There’s no money to buy the Illinois prison President Obama wants to use to house detainees from the US facility at Guantanamo Bay, meaning it’s unlikely the Cuban detention center will be closed before 2011. Congress last week rejected a request for $200 million to cover the purchase... More »

Gitmo North: What's the Point?

The location was never the real problem, writes Glenn Greenwald

(Newser) - The president is making good on his promise to close Guantanamo in classic Obama style: by offering lofty rhetoric while continuing his predecessor's policies, writes Glenn Greenwald. The detainees being sent to Illinois won't be getting trials in real American courts and some will never be tried at all, meaning... More »

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