Filed Under: Politics

Biden appoints diplomat to transfer prisoners out of Guantanamo Bay

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President Biden is working towards fulfilling a campaign promise of both his and former President Barack Obama’s as well. That promise is to close down Guantanamo Bay. Guantanamo Bay has held nearly 800 men since it opened in 2002 but only 36 prisoners are currently there. No new detainees have arrived since 2008 and hundreds were returned home or resettled in another country under the Obama and George W. Bush administrations.

The Wall Street Journal is now reporting President Biden has appointed a senior diplomat to oversee detainee transfers. The facility in Cuba costs $540 million a year to operate, according to a Penn Research Center study. The Penn Research Center released a 197-page report on Monday providing a road map to closing the facility. Drafted by national security experts, including former Guantanamo military prosecutors and defense lawyers, the report recommends abolishing the military commissions created to try enemy prisoners and resolving 10 pending commission trials through plea bargains that could lead to life imprisonment for some defendants rather than execution.

The Biden administration has signaled it won’t interfere with plea negotiations that could resolve the long-stalled prosecution of alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who is still detained at Guantanamo Bay. Sheikh Mohammed was a member of Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida organization, leading al-Qaida’s propaganda operations from around 1999 until late 2001. During that time, he was involved in planning several terrorist attacks responsible for the deaths of thousands.

“Holding people without charge or trial for years on end cannot be reconciled with the values we espouse as a nation, and has deprived the victims of 9/11 and their families of any semblance of justice or closure,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin, D-IL, said.

Some Republican lawmakers have opposed any actions that could lead to detainees leaving Guantanamo Bay.

“The Biden administration wants to free more terrorists, and we know, to an absolute, metaphysical certainty, the results of that will be more Americans murdered,” Senator Ted Cruz, R-TX, said at a Judiciary Committee hearing on Guantanamo.

PRESIDENT BIDEN IS WORKING TOWARDS FULFILLING A CAMPAIGN PROMISE NOT JUST OF HIS — BUT FORMER PRESIDENT OBAMA’S AS WELL.
THAT PROMISE — CLOSING DOWN GUANTANAMO BAY.
WHILE GUANTANAMO HAS HELD NEARLY 800 MEN SINCE IT WAS SET UP IN 2002 — ONLY 36 ARE CURRENTLY THERE.
NO NEW DETAINEES HAVE ARRIVED SINCE 2008 — AND HUNDREDS WERE RETURNED HOME OR RESETTLED IN ANOTHER COUNTRY UNDER THE OBAMA AND GEORGE W. BUSH ADMINISTRATIONS.
NOW — THE WALL STREET JOURNAL IS REPORTING BIDEN HAS APPOINTED A SENIOR DIPLOMAT TO OVERSEE DETAINEE TRANSFERS.
HIS ADMINISTRATION HAS ALSO SIGNALED IT WON’T INTERFERE WITH PLEA NEGOTIATIONS THAT COULD RESOLVE THE LONG-STALLED PROSECUTION OF ALLEGED 9-11 MASTERMIND KHALID SHEIKH MOHAMMED.

President Biden is working towards fulfilling a campaign promise of both his and former President Barack Obama’s as well. That promise is to close down Guantanamo Bay. Guantanamo Bay has held nearly 800 men since it opened in 2002 but only 36 prisoners are currently there. No new detainees have arrived since 2008 and hundreds were returned home or resettled in another country under the Obama and George W. Bush administrations.

The Wall Street Journal is now reporting President Biden has appointed a senior diplomat to oversee detainee transfers. The facility in Cuba costs $540 million a year to operate, according to a Penn Research Center study. The Penn Research Center released a 197-page report on Monday providing a road map to closing the facility. Drafted by national security experts, including former Guantanamo military prosecutors and defense lawyers, the report recommends abolishing the military commissions created to try enemy prisoners and resolving 10 pending commission trials through plea bargains that could lead to life imprisonment for some defendants rather than execution.

The Biden administration has signaled it won’t interfere with plea negotiations that could resolve the long-stalled prosecution of alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who is still detained at Guantanamo Bay. Sheikh Mohammed was a member of Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida organization, leading al-Qaida’s propaganda operations from around 1999 until late 2001. During that time, he was involved in planning several terrorist attacks responsible for the deaths of thousands.

“Holding people without charge or trial for years on end cannot be reconciled with the values we espouse as a nation, and has deprived the victims of 9/11 and their families of any semblance of justice or closure,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin, D-IL, said.

Some Republican lawmakers have opposed any actions that could lead to detainees leaving Guantanamo Bay.

“The Biden administration wants to free more terrorists, and we know, to an absolute, metaphysical certainty, the results of that will be more Americans murdered,” Senator Ted Cruz, R-TX, said at a Judiciary Committee hearing on Guantanamo.

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