Biden Expects Guantanamo To Be Shut Down

| by Ray Brown
Barack Obama and Joe BidenBarack Obama and Joe Biden

In just six words, Vice President Joe Biden reignited the topic of closing Guantanamo Bay, a campaign promise President Barack Obama made in 2008, but has not fulfilled.

"That is my hope and expectation," Biden told reporters in Sweden about closing the prison before Obama leaves office, according to the New York Daily News.

But Biden didn't elaborate on whether any plans or policies were in the works to close the controversial prison in which suspected terrorists who have not had the chance to go through due process are held indefinitely.

In February, Obama sent a “blueprint” to Congress with details about how to close the Guantanamo prison and how prisoners wold be transferred to Supermax prisons in the United States.

"The plan we're putting forward today isn't just about closing the facility at Guantanamo,” Obama said at the time, according to CNN. “It's not just about dealing with the current group of detainees, which is a complex piece of business because of the manner in which they were originally apprehended and what happened. This is about closing a chapter in our history."

"For many years, it has been clear that the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay does not advance our national security -- it undermines it,” Obama said, according to a White House statement. “It’s counterproductive to our fight against terrorists, who use it as propaganda in their efforts to recruit. It drains military resources, with nearly $450 million spent last year alone to keep it running and more than $200 million in additional costs needed to keep it open going forward. Guantanamo harms our partnerships with allies and other countries whose cooperation we need against terrorism."

Republicans slammed the proposal, which appears to have not have advanced in any way.

“His proposal fails to provide critical details required by law,” Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin said, according to The Washington Post. “We will not jeopardize our national security over a campaign promise.”

Sources: New York Daily News, CNN, The White House, The Washington Post / Photo credit: U.S. Embassy, Jakarta/Flickr

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