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Trump issues executive order to keep open Guantanamo Bay prison

31 January, 2018, 10:35 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Trump to announce his plan to keep Guantanamo Bay open during first State of the Union address

The order does not make explicit that the Trump administration will immediately begin sending new detainees to the controversial prison, but preserves the option for the president who on the campaign trail called for it to be loaded "up with some bad dudes". However, this is the first formal reversal of former President Obama's effort to close it down.

US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to keep Guantanamo Bay military prison open, the BBC reports.

Practically, not much is expected to change with Trump's new order, said Lee Wolosky, who was Obama's special envoy at the State Department for closing Guantanamo. "Terrorists are not merely criminals".

The order also said that USA detention operations at Guantanamo Bay are safe, legal, humane and consistent with global law. "And when captured overseas, they should be treated like the terrorists they are".

"In the past, we have foolishly released hundreds of risky terrorists, only to meet them again on the battlefield - including the ISIS leader, al-Baghdadi", Trump said in his address. So today, I am keeping another promise.

Trump asserted that the U.S. maintains the option to detain additional enemy combatants at the facility when necessary, according to the summary of the order. Transferring an ISIS fighter to the base would nearly certainly invite immediate legal challenges.

"I am asking the Congress to end the risky defense sequester and fully fund our great military", he said.

"I am asking Congress to ensure that, in the fight against ISIS and al-Qaeda, we continue to have all necessary power to detain terrorists, wherever we chase them down, wherever we find them". Bush transferred about 500 out before he left office.

Hundreds were transferred away from the facility during the Obama era. The facility still holds 41 prisoners.

In the wake of 9/11 attacks, Washington opened a detention center for terror suspects at the military base at Guantanamo Bay. Americans captured him in the beginning of the war in Iraq, and released him a year later, thinking he was a civilian agitator rather than a military threat.

"And in many cases, for them, it will now be Guantanamo Bay", the president added to applause.


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