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Congress accused of blocking Gitmo closure

Congress accused of blocking Gitmo closure

Apr 16, 2013 - 15:27

WASHINGTON (PANinfo-icon): The White House on Monday said President Barack Obama remained committed to closing Guantanamo detention center in Cuba, but accused the Congress of not letting this happen.

The White House spokesman confirmed that prisoners at the notorious jail were being moved from a communal situation to a single-cell living, amid an hunger strike that has dragged on for more than two months.  

 “We've been monitoring the situation at Guantanamo closely and were informed by the Department of Defense of the steps it was going to take to move detainees at Camp 6 from a communal situation to single-cell living in order to ensure their healthinfo-icon and security,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said.

Since the beginning of this administration, he said, over 70 detainees had been repatriated or resettled to third countries after a review.

“The bottom line is that this administration remains committed to closing the facility and will not send more individuals to the prison there.  The assessments about transfers are something that’s ongoing, but we have reduced the population there and transferred over 70 detainees either through repatriation or transfer to a third country,” he told reporters at his daily news conference.

Carney said Obama remained committed to closing down Guantanamo, but accused the Congress of not letting this happen.

“It’s in keeping with our national security interests, as a number of leading figures in the national security establishment have said, in agreement with the President; as Senator (John) McCain and (former US) President George W. Bush have said.  And the President remains committed to this policy objective.  We do have constraints placed on us by Congress, but that doesn’t lessen in the President’s view the need to pursue this agenda,” he said.

“More broadly, it is our view, the President’s view that that facility ought to be closed.  And we have taken steps in processing detainees and in transferring them to third countries.  But the obstacle have been raised by Congress, and that remains a reality.  But our position is clear:  It’s in our national security interest to pursue that, and the President remains committed to it,” Carney said.



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