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Trump Set to Reverse Obama Executive Order on Guantanamo Bay

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An executive order that would reverse the Obama-era mandate to close the military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is set to be signed by President Donald Trump in the near future.

The president will reportedly sign the executive order during, or possibly before his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, according to an unnamed source close to the topic.

According to a State Department cable, the order would annul the 2009 order signed by then-President Barack Obama that called for the prison to be “closed as soon as practicable.”


As noted by Politico, members of Congress continually blocked Obama’s efforts to shut down the facility.

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However, the former president did manage to transfer nearly 200 inmates to the custody of foreign countries, leaving only 41 detainees inside the walls of the Guantanamo Bay detention center.

While keeping the prison operational was a major political tool for Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign, he doesn’t plan on sending any terrorists to the facility any time soon.

“At this time, we are not aware of any plans to bring additional detainees to Guantanamo Bay,” the State Department cable says.

“The E.O. does not signal a significant policy shift with respect to detentions,” the cable adds. “Rather, it affirms Guantanamo Bay will continue to remain open and serve as one of several options the United States maintains for the detention of terrorists.”

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The repeal would also remove the language used in Obama’s directive that stated prisoners should be “returned to their home country, released, transferred to a third country, or transferred to another United States detention facility.”

The message set to be sent to embassies across the globe also noted that the State Department and Department of Defense will be directed to “recommend criteria to the President for determining detention disposition outcomes for individuals captured on the battlefield.”

“Currently, the United States employs a number of different options for disposition, including transferring individuals to host governments or pursuing prosecution in a U.S. court,” the cable adds. “These remain viable options.”

The New York Daily News reported that in the days before his inauguration, Trump tweeted his thoughts on Obama’s decision to transfer hundreds of prisoners out of Guantanamo Bay.

“There should be no further releases from Gitmo,” Trump tweeted. “These are extremely dangerous people and should not be allowed back onto the battlefield.”

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Trump has stuck to those words thus far, as no prisoners have been transferred or released from the prison during his first year in office.

As noted by Politico, the State Department and the White House have yet to respond to a request for comment.

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