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Guantanamo Prison Closing Plan Means New Obama-Congress Battle
The sun rises over the Camp Delta detention center at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the accused mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, urged a military judge at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay yesterday to avoid using an expansive definition of national security that the defendant said would justify torture and killing. Photographer: Michelle Shepard/Pool via Bloomberg

Guantanamo Prison Closing Plan Means New Obama-Congress Battle

President Barack Obama’s plan to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, would bring as many as 64 of the 116 current detainees — those deemed too dangerous to transfer elsewhere — to the U.S. for federal prosecution or continued military detention.

The others would be transferred home or to third countries under terms intended to assure that they won’t threaten the U.S.

The plan, outlined Saturday by Lisa Monaco, Obama’s adviser for homeland security and counterterrorism, would require Congress to change the law that now prohibits the movement of the detainees to the U.S., setting up a fight with many Republican lawmakers who have said they oppose shutting down the detention center.

Representative Michael McCaul of Texas, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, on Saturday called Obama’s approach a “reckless and dangerous policy.”

The Obama administration plans to win support from Congress in part by presenting the cost of the current arrangement — about $3 million a year per detainee — as a waste of money that could be better used for other national security priorities.

The number of detainees is “getting so low that it really doesn’t make any fiscal sense to keep this hugely expensive facility open in Cuba,” Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said Friday at the Aspen Security Forum in Aspen, Colorado.

Source: Guantanamo Prison Closing Plan Means New Obama-Congress Battle – Bloomberg Business

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