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article imageDemocrats want to ban sending more terror suspects to Guantanamo

By Ken Hanly     Jun 10, 2019 in World
Washington - Democrats on the House Armed Service Committee are attempting to stop the Trump administration from detaining any new terror suspects at the prison facility in Guantanamo Bay Cuba.
New bill's restrictions
A recent article describes the restrictions: "The committee’s annual policy bill, according to a copy obtained by Defense One, prohibits the use of funds to detain additional individuals “including United States citizens” and “would prohibit detention of additional individuals under the law of war or pursuant to a military commission proceeding.” It also requires the administration to come up with a plan “identifying a disposition other than continued law of war detention” at Gitmo for each of the 40 detainees currently held there."
Obama made it a campaign promise to close the facility but was unable to do so and faced bipartisan obstruction of his plans.
Obama's failed attempts to close Guantanamo
Wikipedia notes: "On 6 January 2011, President Obama signed the 2011 Defense Authorization Bill, which, in part, placed restrictions on the transfer of Guantanamo prisoners to the mainland or to foreign countries, thus impeding the closure of the facility.[25] In February 2011, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said that Guantanamo Bay was unlikely to be closed, due to opposition in the Congress.[26] Congress particularly opposed moving prisoners to facilities in the United States for detention or trial.[26] In April 2011, WikiLeaks began publishing 779 secret files relating to prisoners in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.[27] On 4 November 2015, President Barack Obama stated that he was preparing to unveil a plan to close the facility and move some of the terrorism suspects held there to U.S. soil. The plan would propose one or more prisons from a working list that includes facilities in Kansas, Colorado and South Carolina. Two others that were on the list, in California and Washington state, do not appear to have made the preliminary cut, according to a senior administration official familiar with the proposal.[28] By 19 January 2017, however, the detention center remained open, with 41 detainees remaining.[6]"
Obama was forced in January of 2011 to sign a Defense Authorization Bill which placed restrictions on Obama's transfer of prisoners both to the mainland and foreign countries. This helped sabotage Obama attempts to close the facility. However, in 2015 Obama tried again to have some moved to the US. However, the facility is not only still open as money has been spent on repair and upgrading as illustrated by this 2017 article.
Guantanamo was begun under George W Bush
Wikipedia describes Guantanamo: "The Guantanamo Bay detention camp is a United States military prison located within Guantanamo Bay Naval Base,[1] also referred to as Guantánamo, G-Bay, GTMO, and Gitmo (/ˈɡɪtmoʊ/), which is on the coast of Guantánamo Bay in Cuba. Indefinite detention without trial and torture have led the operations of this camp to be considered a major breach of human rights by Amnesty International and a violation of Due Process Clause of the Fifth and Fourteenth amendments of the United States Constitution.[2][3][4]The camp was established by President George W. Bush's administration in 2002 during the War on Terror. "
Trump vows to keep the facility open
On the campaign trail for president in 2016 Trump promised not only that he would keep Guantanamo open but that he would also fill it with bad dudes. Trump is bothered by the high expenses at the facility that retains just 40 inmates. Expenses may increase as the facility is home to aged suspected terrorists many of whom can expected to be in the facility until they die. No doubt medical costs will increase significantly.
The new bill notes that the increasing age of Guantanamo detainees poses a challenge as the US is obligated to provide medical services that meet appropriate standards of car. Although the bill bans transferring any of the remaining prisoners to Yemen, Somalia, Libya or Syria there is no blanket prohibition of transfers to the US.
There will be opposition to any transfers to the US
The bill would allow exceptions to the ban on transferring prisoners to the mainland US. It would allow transfers of prisoners to medical treatment not available at the prison. Under the Geneva Conventions the US must give detainees the same level of care as US service members. Senior officers at the base have been asking how they can be able to do this for the increasing elderly detainee population.
The House committee's bill is expected to be made public on Monday and marked up on Wednesday. Wikipedia describes marking up legislation: "Markup (or mark-up) is the process by which a U.S. congressional committee or state legislative session debates, amends, and rewrites proposed legislation."
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