President Barack Obama has long made clear his intention to empty out and close down the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and he is pressing forward on the issue during his final year in office.
Obama’s Defense Secretary Ash Carter spoke to reporters on Monday about the joint plan put forward by Obama’s administration and the Pentagon to do just that, but admitted that many of the detainees are too dangerous to be released from custody, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
Carter first used the opportunity to dismiss persistent rumors that Obama intended to hand the entire Guantanamo Bay Naval base back to the Cubans in addition to closing down the detention facility.
“The base is separate from the detention facility. The base is in a strategic location. We’ve had it for a long time. It’s important to us, and we intend to hold onto it,” Carter said in response to a reporter’s question.
“With respect to the detention facility at (Guantanamo), which is what the president was speaking about last week … there are people in the Guantanamo Bay detention facility whom it is not safe to transfer to any other — they have to stay in U.S. detention,” Carter said. “Safety is the top priority for me, the chairman, and for the president.”
Because of the inability to transfer or release some of the detainees to the custody of other nations, those terrorists must be brought to American soil if the facility is shut down.
While there are upwards of a dozen possible locations for Gitmo detainees being transferred to the U.S., the top three likely candidates include a supermax prison in Colorado, the military prison in Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, and the Naval Brig in Charleston, South Carolina.
However, Carter freely admitted that the plans to transfer Gitmo detainees to the U.S. would be in violation of laws passed by a bipartisan Congress and noted that Congress would have to change the law if the plan were to ever be implemented.
“(Obama’s Guantanamo plan) can’t be done unless Congress acts, which means Congress has to support the idea that it would be good to move this facility and the detainees to the United States … it’s good if it can be done, but it can’t be done under current law. The law would have to be changed. That’s the reason we would put the proposal in front of Congress,” Carter said.
The truth is, Obama’s plans to close the Guantanamo Bay military prison should be shelved indefinitely, and Defense Secretary Ash Carter knows it.
In his own words, these prisoners are the worst of the worst and are far too dangerous to be let loose to return to the fight against us, which will be an increasingly likely result for at least some of them if they are transferred to another country or U.S. soil, where they would receive the same legal protections as U.S. citizens.