White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a briefing Friday that the Biden administration has launched a review of the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to determine the prison’s fate over the next four years.
Psaki told reporters that the administration is considering an executive action to close Guantanamo by the end of President Joe Biden’s term. When asked whether the administration aimed to close the prison within that timeframe, Psaki replied, “That certainly is our goal and our intention.”
National Security Council spokesperson Emily Horne reaffirmed this goal in a statement to Reuters.
Used as a detention facility for US military captives during the “War on Terror” beginning in 2002, Guantanamo Bay housed at least 779 detainees who remained in custody for many years without trial or charge. Prisoners suffered horrific acts of torture at the hands of military personnel and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agents and nine have died in custody. While the federal government released most prisoners, an estimated 40 individuals remain incarcerated with six having been cleared for release. 85 percent of those released are not suspected of returning to terrorist activity. The individuals released were transferred to 53 different countries where many still remain without legal status or government protections and have state-imposed travel restrictions.