At a time when the Senate is refusing to even consider a Supreme Court nominee, President Obama is pressing forward with another plan that faces roadblocks in Congress: closing the military detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
Obama’s proposal to shutter the facility, announced last week, is a timely reminder of the grave issues at stake in 2016. Guantánamo is a monument to the worst abuses the George W. Bush administration committed in the name of safety and the “war on terror.” Its continued existence beyond the boundaries of the law makes a mockery of American values and weakens our standing in the world. “This is about closing a chapter in our history,” Obama said. “It reflects the lessons that we’ve learned since 9/11—lessons that need to guide our nation moving forward.”
Leading Republicans, however, answered the president’s call with a predictable chorus of condemnation. The party’s obstructionist in chief, Senator Mitch McConnell (Kentucky), warned that Guantánamo’s closure would result in “bringing dangerous terrorists to facilities in US communities.” Likely presidential nominee Donald Trump responded with typical bluster, promising to keep the prison open and “load it up with some bad dudes.”
Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.