President Joe Biden will search to shut controversial army jail Guantanamo Bay by the top of his first 4 years in the White House, press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed on Friday.
The administration is conducting a assessment in order to “assess the current state of play” in regard to the jail, information that was first reported by Reuters and confirmed by National Security Council spokesperson Emily Horne in an announcement to Spectrum News.
“That certainly is our goal and our intention,” Psaki advised reporters Friday when requested if the administration hoped to shut the jail, positioned at a U.S. army base in Cuba.
But the method can’t begin in earnest till quite a few key coverage roles are crammed, together with “confirming sub-Cabinet policy roles at the Defense, State, and Justice Departments,” Psaki and Horne each said. The administration will even seek the advice of with Congress because the NSC conducts its assessment.
The historical past of the jail is each sordid and controversial, having been established by former president George W. Bush in 2002 following the 9/11 terrorist assaults. The authorities’s intent was to maintain detainees suspected of hyperlinks to al-Qaida and the Taliban, nevertheless it garnered international controversy for numerous reports of torture and horrific remedy of its inmates.
The authorities’s Friday announcement marks a return to an identical coverage underneath President Biden’s former boss, then-president Barack Obama.
During his run for workplace in 2008, Obama pledged to completely shut the ability; on his second day as president, he signed an executive order mandating the jail be shuttered inside a 12 months.
It was a promise he was unable to maintain.
Obama’s efforts to shut the jail and transfer any remaining inmates to federal prisons inside the United States was largely thwarted by Congress. Lawmakers handed two largely bipartisan payments, which prohibited transferring anybody from the bottom to the U.S. for any cause, in response to Obama’s order.
Obama did succeed in reducing the variety of detainees held on the jail. Currently, of the estimated 780 individuals who have ever been detained at Guantanamo Bay, solely 40 stay, in accordance to The New York Times’ “Guantanamo Docket.”
But former president Donald Trump successfully ended the Obama administration’s follow of reviewing the circumstances of males held at Guantanamo and releasing them if imprisonment was not deemed crucial.
Trump in his 2016 marketing campaign promised to “load” Guantanamo with “some bad dudes,” however largely ignored the difficulty after rescinding Obama’s insurance policies. His administration authorized a single launch, a Saudi who pleaded responsible earlier than a army fee.
Of these 40 remaining, seven males have circumstances pending earlier than a army fee. They embody 5 males accused of planning and supporting the Sept. 11 assaults. Additionally, there are two prisoners who have been convicted by fee and three dealing with potential prosecution for the 2002 Bali bombing.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.