National

Obama blames Congress for not closing Guantánamo

Associated Press

A cooperative captive is seen through one-way glass inside a communal cellblock at Camp 6, at the U.S. Navy base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, in this photo approved for release by the U.S. military.
A cooperative captive is seen through one-way glass inside a communal cellblock at Camp 6, at the U.S. Navy base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, in this photo approved for release by the U.S. military. MIAMI HERALD STAFF

President Barack Obama says that he has been unable to close the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, because of “congressional restrictions.”

In a news conference Monday ahead of his final overseas trip as president, Obama said he still would prefer to have Guantánamo inmates transferred to a facility under U.S. jurisdiction, saying, “we’d do it a lot cheaper. And just as safely.”

He hailed efforts to bring down the number of inmates, but with regard to transferring those inmates, he said, “Congress disagrees with me, and I gather the president-elect does as well.”

President-elect Donald Trump has said it would be “fine” to try Americans suspected of terrorism at Guantánamo Bay, if possible, and has raised concern about decreasing the number of inmates.

U.S. military approved video footage from a July 9-10, 2016 visit. Prison camp commanders describe the state of affairs at the detention center of revolving U.S. forces, roughly 33 troops and civilians for every prisoner.

  Comments