Entries in Gitmo (3)


Marco Rubio to Visit Gitmo in Cuba

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is traveling to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on Tuesday for the first time, a spokesman told ABC News.

“This visit will allow Sen. Rubio an opportunity to better understand the role Guantanamo Bay plays in U.S. detention operations, and examine how the military commission process for trying the terrorists housed there is proceeding,” Alex Conant said in an email Tuesday.

Rubio, who is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, will conduct oversight of the facility, tour the base, receive an intelligence overview and meet with the Joint Task Force Guantanamo commander, Rear Adm. Jeffrey Harbeson of the U.S. Navy.

While visiting Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Rubio, who turned 41 on Memorial Day, will see the Expeditionary Legal Complex, where the military tribunals of detainees are being conducted, along with touring CAMP VI, the building where the detainees are held.

Rubio, whose family emigrated to the United States from Cuba, will not leave the confines of the base and returns to Miami Tuesday evening.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Weighs Move to Retain Control of Guantanamo Closure

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama may formally object to a provision that would prohibit the use of any funds to transfer detainees from the detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to the United States for any purpose.

The provision -- attached to the defense authorization bill -- would be a critical blow to the president's stated goal of trying some Guantanamo detainees in civilian courts.  Attorney General Eric Holder sent a letter to Congress late last year calling the provision "an extreme and risky encroachment on the authority of the executive branch to determine when and where to prosecute terrorist suspects."

A final decision on whether to issue a so-called signing statement, which was first reported by ProPublica, and its scope, has yet to be made by the president and his senior staff.

Signing statements are legal documents that a president issues to outline how he thinks a law should be implemented.  The statements can be largely ceremonial, explaining the president's view of the effects of the bill, or they can go as far as challenging the constitutionality of the provision and stating that the president will refuse to enforce it.

A White House official said Monday that even if the president decides to issue the signing statement, he will not seek to bypass the Guantanamo restrictions.  The statement instead would reflect Obama's intention to seek a reversal of the provision through Congress.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Guantanamo: The Next Democratic Rebellion Against Obama?

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- As extension of tax cuts pits Democrats against the White House, President Obama is facing another rebellion from House Democrats, who slipped a provision into the federal funding bill this week barring alleged terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay from being moved to U.S. prisons.

Guantanamo has been a sore point for Democrats and Republicans; Obama signed an executive order 21 months ago -- one of his first as commander-in-chief -- to shut it down.  His plan to have detainees move to federal prisons has taken much heat from both sides of the political aisle.

The president's plan this week also received another blow in the form of a report by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, which said "the number of former detainees identified as reengaged in terrorist or insurgent activity will increase."

Of the 598 detainees who have been released, the DNI report found that 81 of them, or 13.5 percent, are confirmed and 69, or 11.5 percent, are suspected of re-engaging in terrorist or insurgent activities.  Of the 66 former Guantanamo detainees transferred since Obama took office, "two are confirmed and three are suspected of reengaging in terrorist or insurgent activities."

The White House insists that closing the Guantanamo Bay detainee center is a "national security imperative," but the latest move by the House, amid the background of Clapper's report, does not bode well for the president's agenda.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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