Obama seeks Gitmo closing

In anticipation of the end of his presidency, Barack Obama has accelerated an initiative to empty the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and shut it down.

Not long after he took office, Obama announced he would keep a campaign promise to close the center. In one of the most bipartisan shows of unity in many years, Democrats and Republicans in Congress refused to go along.

Obama promptly began releasing prisoners, all of them captured in U.S. actions against terrorist organizations, anyway.

Just 60 men remain incarcerated at the center. Twenty of them already have been cleared for release by the Obama administration.

A substantial number of released detainees have disappeared from places they were sent after being set free. Some have resurfaced as operatives, and occasionally leaders, in terrorist groups.

Expect Obama to do all in his power to release as many “Gitmo” detainees as possible before Jan. 20, when Donald Trump takes office.

Congress should do its part to block any such mass exodus, of course. But given Obama’s history of thumbing his nose at lawmakers, it may be that he cannot be stopped.

Regardless of what happens during the next two months, Trump should keep the center open and refuse to release any inmates left there. If he follows through with pledges to intensify the war against Islamic terrorists, Guantanamo Bay may be the only place available to hold those captured securely.

By Chad Fleck

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