Congressional Republicans Fight Hard to Keep Guantánamo Open Forever

Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Sen. Kelly Ayotte (photo: Nicholas Kamm, AFP/Getty Images)

Senate Republicans have introduced legislation that would keep the U.S. military prison at Guantánamo open indefinitely by cutting off other options for sending detainees elsewhere.


The bill, sponsored by Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-New Hampshire), would extend the ban already in place for bringing detainees to the U.S. for detention and trial, and it would forbid the executive branch from relocating them to other countries.


Meanwhile, President Barack Obama has instructed the Pentagon to work on moving as many of the prisoners out of Guantánamo as possible in case the bill passes. The goal is to move upwards of 57 of the prison’s 122 detainees to several countries before the end of the year. At least 10 of them could be shipped out in June, The Washington Post reported.


Two countries the administration is talking to about taking detainees are Morocco and Mauritania. Forty-eight of the prisoners approved for transfer are from Yemen. But given the instability in that country, U.S. officials don’t want to risk sending them back home.


To date, 645 detainees have been transferred out of Guantanamo to 55 countries. Of those 645, 431 (two-thirds of the total) have gone to just five countries: Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Yemen and Algeria, according to the Post.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Facing Threat in Congress, Pentagon Races To Resettle Guantanamo Inmates (by Missy Ryan and Adam Goldman, Washington Post)

GOP Senators Move To Keep Gitmo Open (by Jeremy Herb, Politico)

House Majority Doesn’t Trust Supermax Prison Guards (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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