Obama insists on closure of Guantanamo prison
“I do not want them to die. Obviously, the Pentagon is trying to manage the situation as best as they can. But I think all of us should reflect on why exactly we are doing this,” Obama said at a White House news conference.
He continued to believe the US should close Guantanamo, the president said, insisting it was critical to understand the detention facility was not necessary to keep America safe.
“It is expensive. It is inefficient. It hurts us in terms of our international standing. It lessens cooperation with our allies on counterterrorism efforts. It is a recruitment tool for extremists. It needs to be closed,” he stressed.
Obama blamed Congress for not letting him shut the jail. “The Congress determined they would not let us close it and despite the fact that there are a number of the folks who are currently in Guantanamo who the courts have said could be returned to their country of origin or potentially a third country.”
But the president said he had asked his team to review everything that was currently being done in Guantanamo, everything that the US could do administratively. He was going to re-engage with Congress to try to make the case that it was in the interest of the Americans, he said.
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