[JURIST] The Obama administration on Thursday shut down a Guantanamo Bay prison camp to expedite the permanent closing of the detention center. Camp 5 was a 100-cell maximum security prison that was known for receiving problematic detainees [Fox News report] such as hunger strikers and war criminals. The prison staff began moving detainees out of Camp 5 last month, and all of its detainees are now being consolidated into the detention center’s remaining camps. The staff plans to repurpose Camp 5 into a medical clinic to meet prison needs. As the Obama administration struggles with Congress to close the detention center, only 61 detainees remain in Guantanamo Bay. Officials are hoping to cut down the staff of 2,000 members by 400 by canceling future deployments.
Last month Vice President Joe Biden stated at a press conference in Sweden that he hoped and expected [JURIST report] that the Guantanamo prison will be closed before President Barack Obama leaves office. Also last month the US Department of Defense announced the transfer [JURIST report] of 15 Guantanamo detainees to the United Arab Emirates. Earlier in August a US Senator released a Pentagon Report [JURIST report] detailing the profiles of those currently detained in and recently released from the Guantanamo Bay detention center. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) concluded that closing the facility would not be in the US’ best interests and would pose a safety risk. White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough told Fox News in January that US President Barack Obama intends to fulfill [JURIST report] his promise to close the Guantanamo detention facility before leaving office. Last November the US Senate passed [JURIST report] the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 (NDAA), which prohibits Guantanamo detainees from being transferred into the US. Obama signed the bill into law, despite the fact that it could delay his plan to close the prison. The NDAA comes after the DOD said [JURIST report] they were sending teams to review three Colorado prisons as part of Obama’s efforts to close the facility in October. The Guantanamo Review Task Force was created in response to a 2009 presidential executive order to review the status of all detainees. In September White House Spokesperson Josh Earnest said Obama was considering a “wide array” of options” [JURIST report] for closing the prison.