Vice President Joe Biden surprised the country this week when he announced that the White House expects Guantanamo Bay to be closed by the time Barack Obama leaves office in mid-January. The decision to close the facility has been met with disapproval of many security experts.
“That is my hope and expectation,” Biden told a news conference in Sweden. The White House has been trying to close the facility for years now, but Congress has managed to stall the process.
Biden’s announcement comes just weeks after Obama made headlines for releasing 15 prisoners from the facility and sending them to the United Arab Emirates. The transfer marked the largest single release of detainees, and was criticized by GOP lawmakers for being “reckless.”
The Pentagon confirms there are 61 detainees still in Guantanamo at this time.
“The unclassified report I secured from the Department of Defense demonstrates that these detainees just released are among the worst terrorists who could jeopardize our national security and the lives of our troops,” Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire said in a statement. “It is reckless for the administration to continue to release terrorists like these to fulfill a misguided campaign promise to empty and close Guantanamo.”
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has also expressed his support for keeping Guantanamo Bay open, arguing that this country needs a “very safe place” to keep terrorists.
What do you think of Biden’s announcement?