President Obama renews his push to close Guantanamo detention facility
Friday, May 3, 2013
President Obama addressed a news conference at the White House on Tuesday saying he would have a team of officials review the issue before again appealing to Congress to close the prison holding "terror" suspects in Cuba. "I think it is critical for us to understand that Guantanamo is not necessary to keep America safe," he said. "It is expensive. It is inefficient. It hurts us in terms of our international standing. It lessens co-operation with our allies on counter-terrorism efforts. It is a recruitment tool for extremists. It needs to be closed."
These remarks were made after 40 US Navy medical staff were sent to the facility to deal with the growing hunger strike that began on February 6 this year, where twenty one inmates are now being force fed; five of those are in hospital. "I don’t want these individuals to die," President Obama said.
Calls by thehowever, have called for President Obama to transfer men from the facility now; a power he has over Congress. "He should use the certification/waiver process created by Congress to transfer detainees, starting with the 86 men who have been cleared for release," the New York-based group said.
When asked for greater details about President Obama’s intentions,spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said the president was "considering a range of options for ways that we can reduce the population there," including "reappointing a senior official at the State Department to renew our focus on repatriating or transferring" lower-risk detainees.
- Jim Lobe. "As Hunger Strike Spreads, Obama Again Denounces Guantanamo" — , May 1, 2013
- "Obama renews push for closing Guantanamo" — , May 1, 2013
- Charlie Savage. "Amid Hunger Strike, Obama Renews Push to Close Cuba Prison" — , April 30, 2013