In Focus: Gitmo Over the Weekend

“You walk away realizing that the world’s worst terrorists are housed at a location that is isolated by an ocean, mountains and deserts, and the deserts have old Cuban landmines. […]anyone who wants to come rescue anybody has to go through those three major barriers.”

– Senator Tim Scott, November 20, 2015

McClatchy:Few doubt that the domestic facilities under consideration are capable of securing the detainees[…]. But critics worry that having them there could attract sympathizers and create imminent danger by making the nearby communities a target. Charleston is a national tourist destination with a metropolitan population of almost 700,000.”( Vera Bergengruen, “Some worry Guantánamo detainees could come north as Obama’s term ends,” 11/22/15)

Washington Post:Mr. Obama should not and, we believe, cannot close the [Guantanamo Bay] prison unilaterally. Such a move would ignore the repeatedly expressed will of Congress. Lawmakers have barred spending any money on transferring Guantanamo detainees into the United States and on building them facilities here. The latest version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) retains these provisions despite strong pushback from the White House.” (Editorial,Obama cannot go it alone on Guantanamo, 11/20/15)

CNN: “But the plan to close the facility — already facing long-shot odds with a resistant Congress— has become even more knotty in the aftermath of the Paris attacks last week. In just the past few weeks, ISIS has been blamed for taking down a Russian passenger plane, and terrorists affiliated with the group went on a killing rampage in Paris. Fallout from the massacre has included new backlash against Syrian refugees, who some now fear could pose a threat to the U.S. homeland.”(Kevin Liptak, “Obama still plans to shut Guantanamo. Can he?,” CNN, 11/19/15)

Speaker Paul Ryan:“As the president’s own attorney general said yesterday, it is against the law to transfer Guantanamo’s detainees to the United States. Andthe bipartisan defense bill we just sent to the president only confirms that fact.” (Press Release, “Statement on Obama Administration’s Delay of Guantanamo Bay Plan,” 11/18/15)

CNN: “Congress continues to resist any option that involves moving detainees into the United States, most recently in a defense spending bill passed this week that Obama originally vetoed but is now expected to approve. The bill extends the ban on transferring detainees into the United States and puts new restrictions on sending prisoners to Somalia, Yemen, Libya and Syria.”(Kevin Liptak, “Obama still plans to shut Guantanamo. Can he?,” CNN, 11/19/15)