Guantánamo "closer" is reassigned, office closed

Then U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried addressing the Bosnia-Herzegovina’s Parliament in April 2007. He spent not-quite four years as Barack Obama's Guantanamo closure envoy.
Then U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried addressing the Bosnia-Herzegovina’s Parliament in April 2007. He spent not-quite four years as Barack Obama's Guantanamo closure envoy.

Associated Press

The State Department has reassigned its special envoy for closing the U.S. prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, in another step away from one of President Barack Obama's first campaign promises.

Ambassador Daniel Fried is starting this week as the department's sanctions coordinator, according to an internal notice, focusing on governments like Iran and Syria.

And no one is replacing Fried as lead diplomat to persuade countries to resettle Guantánamo inmates approved for release. Instead, those responsibilities will now transfer to the department's legal office.

The reduced diplomatic effort comes as a military tribunal holds more hearings into the case of alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and five other defendants who face almost 3,000 counts of murder. They could get the death penalty if convicted in a trial that is likely at least a year away. Most of this week's proceedings have focused on abstract pretrial legal issues.

Fried helped in the transfer of 40 detainees overseas during his four years as special envoy, assuming the post shortly after Obama first took office and promised to close the much-maligned prison within a year.

But Republican-led bills have since cut off funding to move detainees to foreign countries, and bringing them to the United States has been impossible since Congress blocked Obama's attempt in 2009 to try Mohammed and others accused of war crimes in a civilian court.

The Obama administration still hopes to close Guantánamo and send its remaining 166 inmates elsewhere, but officials say congressional restrictions have left diplomatic efforts severely hampered.

Despite signing last year's federal defense bill, the president criticized further provisions it included that regulated the detention, interrogation and prosecution of suspected terrorists. He called continued Guantánamo restrictions "unwise" and insisted federal courts can successfully prosecute terrorists.

Read more More News stories from the Miami Herald

Los aficionados de fútbol Daniel y Maryan celebran los goles durante la semifinal del Mundial de Brasil 2014 entre Alemania y Brasil, durante la feria "Pan y mantequilla" de Berlín, el 8 de julio de 2014.

    Felicidad en Alemania por su victoria ante Brasil

    Los alemanes se despertaron el miércoles para descubrir que la aplastante victoria 7-1 en su semifinal de la Copa del Mundo ante Brasil no había sido un sueño, sino una realidad difícil de creer.

El alemán Thomas Mueller, de Alemania, busca eludir al arquero brasileño Julio Cesar y al zaguero Luiz Gustavo, durante la semifinal de la Copa del Mundo, el martes 8 de julio de 2014, en Belo Horizonte

    Mundial: Alemania encuentra el equilibrio

    La exhibición alemana ante Brasil despertó el miércoles la admiración del planeta por su fútbol total. La selección de Joachim Loew, brillante finalista del Mundial, ha encontrado un equilibrio casi perfecto entre el "tiki-taka" y un juego ofensivo que respeta los cánones más tradicionales.

  • Zúñiga llega escoltado a su pueblo natal

    El futbolista Camilo Zúñiga llegó a su natal poblado de Chigorodó en medio de un fuerte dispositivo de seguridad luego de recibir amenazas en las redes sociales por la lesión al estelar jugador brasileño Neymar, informó el martes la Policía Nacional.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category