Former president Barack Obama had vowed to close the US military-run prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, but now it will stay open for at least 25 years, the officer in charge of the facility said Tuesday.
Rear Admiral John Ring said the prison, which holds several alleged plotters of the 9/11 attacks, is focused on readiness to make “sure that the facilities are going to last for 25 years.”
In January, President Donald Trump signed an executive order, reversing his predecessor Obama’s ultimately fruitless 2009 directive to shutter the facility that has drawn global scorn.
Following Trump’s move, “they told us we are going to be here for 25 years or more,” said Ring, Commander of Joint Task Force Guantanamo.
The Pentagon “sent us a memo saying plan to be open” for at least 25 years, Ring said during a visit regularly organized by the US military for journalists, with the aim of showing that prisoners are treated humanely at the American enclave in communist Cuba’s southeast.
In December, the top torture expert at the United Nations said reports from sources indicated at least one inmate was still being tortured at Guantanamo Bay.
Nils Melzer, the UN special rapporteur on torture, said he had received information that torture through noise and vibrations was taking place against Ammar al-Baluchi, a suspected 9/11 plotter.
Melzer voiced particular concern about detainees who had been held for long periods of time in almost complete isolation.
Under president George W. Bush, the military hastily built the prison camp following the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001.
Over the years, roughly 780 people have been detained at Guantanamo, mostly for their alleged ties to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
First under Bush and then under Obama, the US released hundreds of detainees from the prison.
The most notorious inmates, including accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, are still awaiting trial but their cases have been beset by legal woes.
Guantanamo has not received any new inmates since 2008, and 40 remain.
Some have never been charged yet have been deemed too dangerous to release.
On the campaign trail, Trump vowed to load Guantanamo with “bad dudes,” and later in office he said Islamic State fighters would be sent there.
Ring said that so far there is “no indication” that such new detainees would be transferred soon to Guantanamo.
Conservative SCOTUS majority appears ready to allow Trump to kill DACA for over 700,000 dreamers
Trump once praised the program. Today he drew closer to being allowed to kill it.
The five conservative U.S. Supreme Court justices – including two installed by President Donald Trump – appear ready to allow the nation's chief executive to kill the DACA program that protects 700,000 to 800,000 Dreamers. The program, started by President Barack Obama, offers work authorizations and protections from deportation for those who were brought to America as children and have not known any other land as home for nearly their entire lives.
The New York Times reports that the Supreme Court's four liberal justices during oral arguments Tuesday appeared to focus on the president's motivation for ending DACA, officially the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
George Conway’s tweet gets mistaken for a swipe at his wife after he laments seeing ‘someone sacrifice her integrity’ for Trump
After a tweet he fired off this Tuesday morning, some people thought George Conway was subtweeting his wife, Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway. Conway was actually referring to Nikki Haley's defense of President Trump's infamous phone call with Ukraine's president, but some still couldn't resist pointing out the irony of his words.
"Every time I see someone sacrifice her integrity like this for @realDonaldTrump, I think of that line from the Bourne Identity and the Bourne Conspiracy: 'Look at us. Look at what they make you give,'" Conway tweeted while sharing Haley's recent interview with the Today Show.
Roger Stone’s entire defense strategy seems to be hoping Trump will pardon him: national security lawyer
Trump ally Roger Stone is on trial this week on charges of perjury, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice -- and one national security attorney is baffled at how he's trying to defend himself.
Attorney Bradley Moss wrote on Twitter Tuesday that he simply doesn't see how Stone hopes to beat the charges laid out against him, as he so far hasn't had any serious rebuttal to his documented efforts to pressure witness Randy Credico to commit perjury.
"I seriously do not understand Roger Stone's defense strategy," Moss wrote. "This seems like a pro forma defense centered around the belief Trump will simply pardon him and Stone can then monetize his victim status further."