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McCain and Feinstein pledge to close Guantánamo but sidestep hunger strike

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Returning from trip to US prison camp, senators says inmates’ care is ‘safe and respectful’ as dozens protest treatment

A cross-party delegation consisting of two leading US senators and President Barack Obama’s most senior aide have reaffirmed a determination to close Guantánamo Bay following a visit to the camp.

In a joint statement late Friday, Republican senator John McCain, Dianne Feinstein, the Democratic chair of the Senate Intelligence committee, and White House chief of staff Denis McDonough said it remained in the “national interest” to shutter the centre and move inmates to other locations.

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It comes amid a growing hunger strike at Guantánamo Bay now entering its fifth month. As of Saturday, 104 of the 166 people still being held at the centre were refusing food. Of those 41 were being force-fed, with four in hospital.

The action was sparked by allegedly heavy-handed searches of cells by prison guards. Inmates and their lawyers have since complained that those taking part in the action are being victimised and forced to endure lengthy sessions of being tube-fed against their will.

In an attempt to break the resolve of hunger-strikers, authorities have moved inmates out of communal areas and into single cells, where they can be more closely monitored.

There have also been allegations of humiliating body-cavity searches being used as a tool to intimidate detainees wishing to speak to their lawyers.Authorities at the camp have denied the claim.

But in an indication of worsening conditions at the camp, recent months have seen an increase in personnel being drafted in to cope with the hunger strike. In April, a 40-strong backup medical team arrived at the camp. And earlier this week, it was announced that guard numbers were being boosted by 125 soldiers from a military police company based in Puerto Rico.

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In a joint-statement following the Washington delegation’s visit to the naval base in Cuba, Feinstein, McCain and McDonough said the inmates were being kept in a “safe and respectful” way.

But they reiterated the view that the camp should be closed, with its inmate population – 86 of whom have been cleared for transfer or release – moved to other facilities or repatriated.

The statement read: “We continue to believe that it is in our national interest to end detention at Guantánamo, with a safe and orderly transition of the detainees to other locations.

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“We intend to work, with a plan by Congress and the administration together, to take the steps necessary to make that happen.”

Whether they can find the will in Washington to push through the site’s closure is, however, less than certain.

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President Obama had vowed to close Guantánamo Bay shortly after taking office in 2009. But his efforts were thwarted by Congress, with lawmakers claiming that the White House had failed to address concerns over what will happen to terror suspects after the camp’s closure.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2013

 


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REVEALED: Kayleigh McEnany called Biden a ‘man of the people’ who connects better with the ‘middle class’ than Trump

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White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany is a loyal mouthpiece for President Donald Trump, both in presidential policy and against his political opponents in the election campaign. She has echoed Trump's attacks on Joe Biden, calling him a "radical socialist" and using monikers like "Sleepy."

But on Monday, CNN unearthed audio of McEnany from 2015 during an interview on New York AM970, in which she offered a very different view.

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2020 Election

Trump whines that he shouldn’t be blamed for ‘Lock Her Up!’ chants — as his supporters chant it

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President Donald J. Trump refuted responsibility for his rally cries of "lock her up" during a campaign stop in Martinsburg, Penn. Monday.

"Lock her up," the crowds chanted. To which Trump replied, "Now [the chants] are happening with [Joe] Biden because that's a crime family, frankly. But every time that happens, when they say, 'lock her up,' they always blame me and I have nothing to do with it."

Watch the video below.

After the crowd chants "lock her up!" for Hillary Clinton, Trump says "now [the chants] are happening with Biden because that's a crime family, frankly. But every time that happens, when they say 'lock her up,' they always blame me & I have nothing to do with it." pic.twitter.com/SjKrfadJIv

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2020 Election

‘Segregated South type behavior’: Americans are furious at ‘scared’ Texas’s Gov. Abbott deploying Guard troops to the polls

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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced that he is deploying troops to the polls in the state, something that a president can't even due because it can suppress the vote.

“The Texas Army National Guard said Monday it had been ordered to dispatch 1,000 troops to five major cities around the state in conjunction with the Nov. 3 election,” San Antonio Express-News reported on Monday.

It sent people into flames of rage claiming that it was an example of a Republican governor behaving like a segregationist from the 1950s.

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