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President Obama's final letter of appeal to the senate for the closure of Guantanomo Bay

buzzz worthy. . .





  • at the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, a facility that
    never should have been opened in the first place. Rather
    than keeping us safer, the detention facility at Guantanamo
    undermines American national security. Terrorists use it for
    propaganda, its operations drain our military resources during a
    time of budget cuts, and it harms our partnerships with allies
    and countries whose cooperation we need against today's evolving
    terrorist threat. By any measure, the costs of keeping it open
    far exceed the complications involved in closing it.
    As President, I have tried to close Guantanamo. When
    I inherited this challenge, it was widely recognized that
    the facility -- which many around the world continue to
    condemn -- needed to close. Unfortunately, what had previously
    been bipartisan support for closure suddenly became a partisan
    issue. Despite those politics, we have made progress. This
    Administration established a comprehensive, interagency review
    process to assess whether the transfer of a detainee is in the
    national security interest of the United States. Under this
    rigorous process, we have transferred 196 detainees from
    Guantanamo with arrangements designed to keep them from engaging
    in acts that pose a threat to the United States and our allies.
    Of the nearly 800 detainees at one time held at the facility,
    today only 41 remain.
    The Department of Defense has also provided the Congress with
    a comprehensive plan to finally close Guantanamo once and for
    all. In addition to calling for us to continue to identify
    and effectuate secure transfer opportunities, it calls for the
    continued periodic review of the threat posed by individuals
    still detained, the use of all legal tools to deal with the
    remaining detainees still held under law of war detention, and
    the identification of a secure location in the United States to
    hold remaining detainees who are subject to military commissions
    or who we have determined must continue to be detained because
    they pose a continuing significant threat to the United States.
    I have included an update to that plan here.
    The restrictions imposed by the Congress that prevent us from
    imprisoning detainees -- even to prosecute and secure a life
    sentence -- in the United States make no sense. No person has
  • ever escaped one of our super-max or military prisons here,
    ever. There is simply no justification beyond politics for
    the Congress' insistence on keeping the facility open. Members
    of Congress who obstruct efforts to close the facility, given
    the stakes involved for our security, have abdicated their
    responsibility to the American people. They have placed
    politics above the ongoing costs to taxpayers, our relationships
    with our allies, and the threat posed to U.S. national security
    by leaving open a facility that governments around the world
    condemn and which hinders rather than helps our fight against
    terrorism.
    If this were easy, we would have closed Guantanamo years ago.
    But history will cast a harsh judgment on this aspect of our
    fight against terrorism and those of us who fail to bring it
    to a responsible end. Once again, I encourage the Congress to
    close the facility and permit more of our brave men and women
    in uniform serving at Guantanamo Bay to return to meeting the
    challenges of the 21st century around the globe. There remains
    bipartisan support for closing Guantanamo and we can do so in a
    responsible and secure way that also saves the American taxpayer
    money. Guantanamo is contrary to our values and undermines our
    standing in the world, and it is long past time to end this
    chapter in our history.
    Sincerely,
    BARACK OBAMA