Sessions was accompanied by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and national intelligence director Dan Coats on his first trip to the prison, where the United States still holds 41 terrorism suspects. “Recent attacks in Europe and elsewhere confirm that the threat to our nation is immediate and real, and it remains essential that we use every lawful tool available to prevent as many attacks as possible,” Justice Department spokesman Ian Prior said in a statement emailed to dpa.
In the short term, if the president just ignores the intelligence community that’s obviously extremely dangerous, because the decisions won’t be made based on the facts. But in the long run, you can actually have an impact on the intelligence community itself. So that a young person coming out of a graduate program decides instead of going to the CIA, I’m going to instead go to Goldman Sachs, and make a lot more money anyway.
Obama pledged in his 2008 presidential campaign to close the military prison, but his efforts have been blocked by mostly Republican opposition in Congress. The Democratic president has instead reduced the population there by transferring prisoners to other countries.
“The idea seemed to be to get them out of Guantánamo at almost any cost,” says David Remes, a lawyer to many present and former detainees, including al-Merfedy. “They were dropped into strange lands, with cultures, religions and language far different from their own, and where they were bound to be treated like pariahs.”
Without executive action, the chances of closing the prison would hinge on convincing a resistant Congress to overturn a long-standing ban on bringing possibly dozens of remaining prisoners to maximum-security prisons in the United States.
The three-day trip, the first by a U.S. president to Cuba in 88 years, is the culmination of a diplomatic opening announced by Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro in December 2014, ending a Cold War-era estrangement that began when the Cuban revolution ousted a pro-American government in 1959.
Advancing gun control, closing the U.S. military prison in Cuba and reforming criminal justice laws are likely to top President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address agenda next month as he starts his last year with a key goal: remaining relevant.
Mohamedou Ould Slahi, a prisoner at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, wrote a 466-page memoir from his cell, which is a hellish account of perpetual torture.
Washington (AFP) — U.S. lawmakers slammed President Barack Obama Tuesday for failing to notify Congress before releasing five Taliban operatives from Guantanamo in exchange for an American POW. U.S. officials, fearing for the life and health of U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl who had been held captive for five years, swiftly negotiated for his release […]