The Obama administration on Tuesday released its long-awaited plan to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and transfer remaining detainees to a facility in the United States. But the proposal ducks the question of where the facility would be located and whether President Barack Obama could complete the unlikely closure before he leaves office.
The plan, which was delivered to Congress, makes a financial argument for closing the controversial detention center. U.S. officials say it calls for up to $475 million in construction costs that would ultimately be offset by as much as $180 million per year in operating cost savings.
The proposal is part of Obama’s last effort to make good on his unfulfilled 2008 campaign vow to close Guantanamo and persuade lawmakers to allow the Defense Department to move nearly 60 detainees to the U.S. But with few specifics, the proposal may only further antagonize lawmakers who have repeatedly passed legislation banning any effort to move detainees to the U.S.
Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, chairman of House Armed Services Committee, has said his panel would hold a hearing on a closure plan. But he sent a letter to Obama warning that Congress has made clear what details must be included in any plan and that anything less than that would be unacceptable.
Obama, meanwhile, planned to make a midmorning statement on Guantanamo at the White House.
U.S. officials say the plan considers, but does not name, 13 different locations in (continue reading)