Lawmakers Try To Block The Closure Of Guantanamo
October 9, 2009 by Special To Personal Liberty
The Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba may not be closed after all if the slew of legislative measures proposed in several upcoming spending bills is passed.
The facility, which has been the object of sharp criticism from libertarians as well as civil and human rights advocates, was due to be closed in the next four months, based on President Obama’s first executive order signed on January 22.
However, critics ¬- especially those in Congress – have alleged the administration has not properly explained what will happen to the freed detainees who are terrorist suspects.
"For nine months, the Obama administration has insisted the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay be shuttered within the year; but what have we seen in that time?" asked Republican Representative Harold Rogers, quoted by Agence France Presse.
"[There is no] plan. No idea of how to proceed," he added.
TheHill.com reports that Rogers sponsored a measure in the 2010 Homeland Security Department budget to prevent the transfer of detainees from Guantanamo Bay to the U.S. It passed by a vote of 258 to 163, including 88 Democrats.
Other appropriations bills containing provisions to block the facility’s closure include the Senate defense spending bill.
Last week, the Department of Justice revealed three detainees had been transferred from the prison to Ireland and Yemen.
Media reports suggest the interagency Guantanamo Review Task Force has cleared 78 detainees, or about a third of the population of the facility, to leave.