Obama blames failure to close Guantanamo on congressional restrictions News
Obama blames failure to close Guantanamo on congressional restrictions

US President Barack Obama on Monday acknowledged [press release] the difficulties he has encountered trying to shut down the prison facility at Guantanamo Bay, blaming his failure on congressional restrictions. On his second day in office in 2009, Obama issued Executive Order 13492 [text], which ordered that prisoners be removed from Guantanamo and the facility be closed within a year [JURIST report], but this vision has still not been achieved after almost eight years in office. Speaking at a press conference before an international trip Monday, Obama said, “it is true that I have not been able to close the darn thing because of the congressional restrictions that have been placed on us.” The president has, however, reduced the population of the facility to “significantly less than a hundred people.”

In September the Obama administration shut down [JURIST report] Camp 5, a maximum security part of the facility. In August Vice President Joe Biden said he expected Guantanamo to close [JURIST report] before Obama leaves office. Earlier that month the US transferred [JURIST report] 15 detainees from Guantanamo to the United Arab Emirates. Also 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, discouraging the prison’s closure.