On Tuesday, US president Barack Obama has unveiled his plan to close controversial Guantanamo Bay prison. Guantanamo Bay has 91 detaines and costs 445 million dollars a year. It’s a promise made by Obama when him as elected in 2008 as blocked by Republicans in congress since then.
The president told reporters on Tuesday it undermined national security.
“This is about closing a chapter in our history,” said Mr Obama. “It reflects the lessons we’ve learned since 9/11 – lessons that must guide our nation going forward.”
But Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio was scathing in his criticism, saying Guantanamo prisoners do not belong on US soil.
“These are literally enemy combatants,” he said, adding he would ship terrorists straight to Guantanamo “to find out what they know”.
There are four main components in the White House plan:
- Transfer 35 detainees to foreign countries who have been designated to do so
- Do periodic reviews of remaining detainees to see if their detention is still necessary
- Continue to use legal tools to deal with remaining detainees
- Working with Congress to establish a location in the US to hold detainees who will not go to foreign countries
It estimates the move would save up to 180 million dollars a year in cost savings.
The president, who will complete his second and final term in January, said it was important not to pass the problem on to his successor.
“Keeping this facility open is contrary to our values. It undermines our standing in the world. It is viewed as a stain on our broader record of upholding the highest standards of rule of law.”
Conclusion: Republicans isn’t happy with that