Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Despite the President’s Plea, Guantanamo Bay to Remain Open

Despite the President’s Plea, Guantanamo Bay to Remain Open

By Ashley Curtin

Despite the increasing hunger strike, widening protests and a plea from President Obama, Guantanamo Bay will remain open. After a vote in the House of Representatives denied a bill to close the prison, the House instead added a restriction to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014 making it all that much harder to transfer prisoners.

More than 56 prisoners, who were cleared by U.S. military and intelligence officials to be transferred to Yemen, and about 30 others waiting to be released from the U.S. prison located in Cuba, will instead remain prisoners at Guantanamo Bay with the rest of the 166 inmates after an amendment, which blocks the use of federal funds for inmate transfers, passed, 236 to 188, on Friday, according to The Huffington Post.

Rep. Jackie Walorski, R, Ind., who sponsored the amendment to the 2014 NDAA said that “the Defense Department should not transfer detainees to Yemen because they represent some of the most dangerous terrorists known in the world,” according to The Huffington Post.

But contrary to Walorski’s and many republican’s beliefs, democrats said that not all the prisoners who were taken into custody turned out to be dangerous. Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash. said that holding these prisoners in Guantanamo Bay indefinitely because of some belief that they might be of “some risk” is against the U.S. Constitution.

Smith added that the prison offers no benefit and, when originally set up, the government believed it could hold these prisoners at Guantanamo Bay without due process of law, but the Supreme Court ruled against that possibility saying it was against the Constitution. Not only does Guantanamo Bay suppress American values, democrats also argued that continuing to operate the prison is expensive and there is absolutely no need for it.

But the House’s vote was contrary to President Obama’s plea for the NDAA “to ease restrictions on transferring prisoners” and democrats’ argument against Guantanamo Bay. Instead, republicans said in order to protect the country, the transfer of “terrorists” into the U.S must be blockaded.

While President Obama and his administration are trying to close Guantanamo Bay, which was a goal he set during his 2008 presidential campaign, things just got even harder for the President.

This article was published at NationofChange at: All rights are reserved.

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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

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