Donald Trump signs order to keep Guantanamo Bay prison open
31 January, 2018, 10:54 | Author: Edward Snyder
US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to keep Guantanamo Bay military prison open, the BBC reports.
"In the past, we have foolishly released hundreds of unsafe terrorists, only to meet them again on the battlefield", Trump said, but his executive order was aimed at detaining them indefinitely. In the address, Trump said that he had signed an executive order to keep Guantanamo open.
On top of the new GTMO policy, Trump noted that United States forces and allies in Afghanistan have "new rules of engagement" - meaning they are now allowed to use more violence against residents of the country they deem to be enemies.
The prison, which was opened by President George W. Bush to hold suspected militants captured overseas after the September 11, 2001, attacks, came to symbolize harsh detention practices that opened the United States to accusations of torture.
Trump would do so by issuing an executive order that retains the USA right to move new detainees to the facility if warranted, but there are no plans to do so, according to a State Department official.
Congress has grappled with updating the 2001 military authorization with little progress, stymied by fierce debate over the potential scope of any new authorization.
I am asking Congress to ensure that in the fight against ISIS and al-Qaeda, we continue to have all necessary power to detain terrorists - wherever we chase them down, wherever we find them.
"When possible, we have no choice but to annihilate them". Instead, his administration reduced the inmate population to 41 from 242 during his eight years in office.
While hundreds of detainees have been transferred from the facility, 41 detainees now remain.
Trump on the campaign trail vowed to revitalize the prison, which supporters ruefully say has become a geriatric facility for aging terrorists - alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has been held there since 2006, for example. He also said the United States will work to kill terrorists, but when it is necessary, they must be captured and interrogated.
"I would certainly consider that, yes", Trump told CBS.
Obama made closing the Guantanamo Bay prison one his first and highest priorities as president, but he was not able to achieve that signature goal.
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