Trump Signs Order Keeping Guantanamo Bay Prison Open

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President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to keep the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay open.


Trump announced the order during the State of the Union address. “I just signed an order directing [Defense] Secretary [James] reexamine our military detention policy and to keep open the detention facilities at Guantánamo Bay,” Trump said during the State of the Union, which was followed by cheers from Republicans. “I am also asking the Congress to ensure that, in the fight against ISIS and al-Qaeda, we continue to have all necessary power to detain terrorists — wherever we chase them down, wherever we find them.”

Earlier, Politico reported that a leaked diplomatic cable with a draft of the executive order would revoke part of an order former President Barack Obama signed on his second day in office asking that the prison be “closed as soon as practicable.”

Of course, Obama never actually closed the prison, where the U.S. tortured prisoners who were detained without ever being charged. But Obama did move “nearly 200 prisoners” out of the facility during his administration, and according to Politico, just 41 prisoners still remain at the facility.

In November, Trump said that he would consider sending Sayfullo Saipov, the man suspected of the truck attack in New York City in October, to Guantanamo. According to the Politico report, however, the leaked cable said the State Department “was not aware of any plans to bring additional detainees to Guantanamo Bay.”