When Barack Obama, then a rookie Senator from Illinois, ran for president back in 2008, one of his top policy priorities was closing the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. The facility, located on the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba, has been a point of fierce political contention since its establishment in 2002. The United States military detains terror suspects in the camp and conducts intense interrogation procedures at the facility in order to obtain vital information about terror plots against the U.S. and its allies. Some pundits and politicians argue that torturing terrorists is a reasonable method for preserving national security, while others, including Obama, have called for closing the facility under humanitarian premises.
Obama has worked to diminish the impact of the facility since he entered the White House by emptying the camp of its detainees. Now, however, he is pushing to close the camp for good, submitting a plan to do so to Congress this morning. He reportedly intends to transfer current detainees to high-security facilities in the U.S., a point that has raised eyebrows from individuals fearing terror factions may attack the facilities on the mainland in attempts to free their members. The world’s worst suspected terrorists are currently being detained at the camp, and, as such, closing the camp and transferring the prisoners could pose severe national security threats to the U.S.
This plan will undoubtedly be met with staunch opposition from Republicans and war-hawk Democrats. And, given that the 2016 election is just around the corner, the matter will also make its way into the election scene, as candidates will be forced to take a stance on Obama’s proposition.
What do you think about Obama’s plan to close Guantanamo Bay? Will Congress approve of his plan?