Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama's national security team is pushing forward on moving detainees held at Guantanamo Bay to other countries amid outrage in Congress at the recent transfer of five Taliban prisoners in exchange for captive Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
While there aren't any "imminent transfer announcement in the works," the team assigned to moving detainees is "energetically working this issue every day from Washington, foreign capitals, and places in between," according to National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden.
Washington (CNN) - The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee said a top White House national security official called her Monday night and apologized for not providing Congress with 30 days’ notice, as is required by law, before transferring five Guantanamo detainees in the recent swap for prisoner of war Bowe Bergdahl.
“It’s very disappointing that there was not a level of trust to justify alerting us to that,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, told reporters. “I had a call from the White House last night, from (Deputy National Security Adviser) Tony Blinken, apologizing for it.”
(CNN) - President Barack Obama used his signing Thursday of the 2014 Defense Authorization Act to take a swipe at Congress for continuing to impede his efforts at closing the detention facility at the U.S. military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
“Since taking office, I have repeatedly called upon the Congress to work with my Administration to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba,” Obama said in a statement. “The continued operation of the facility weakens our national security by draining resources, damaging our relationships with key allies and partners, and emboldening violent extremists.”
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama's efforts to close the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, are expected to face some crucial Senate votes this week, and for the first time in four years, he stands a chance to win some.
A Senate bill to authorize defense spending contains some of the loosest restrictions yet on transferring Guantanamo prisoners, including possibly to the United States for detention, trial or medical care.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama said Monday that the United States will resume using military commissions to prosecute alleged terrorists held at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility.
The announcement said the Obama administration remains committed to closing the controversial detention facility, but will rescind its previous suspension on bringing new charges before military commissions.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - President Obama signed a defense spending bill into law Friday, saying he would work to repeal provisions making it harder to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
H.R. 6523, which authorizes the funding for all military activities of the United States for fiscal year 2011, includes a provision that bars the use of funds, authorized by the law, to transfer detainees from the detention facility into the United States. In a written statement after signing the bill into law, Obama called the provision "a dangerous and unprecedented challenge to critical executive branch authority to determine when and where to prosecute Guantanamo detainees, based on the facts and the circumstances of each case and our national security interests."
(CNN) - A year has passed since the Obama administration said the Guantanamo Bay military prison would close, but White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Sunday that the facility won't go away in the near future.
In an interview on CNN's "State of the Union," Gibbs said that even though the site is a recruiting tool for Islamic terrorists, legal and legislative issues have contributed to the delay in its closing.
Washington (CNN) - House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer acknowledged Tuesday that closing down the Guantanamo Bay prison is not a top priority for congressional Democrats.
In response to a question from a reporter about where shutting down Gitmo stands, Hoyer said, "I think that's not an item, as you point out, of real current discussion. There's some very big issues confronting us - dealing with growing the economy and Iraq and Afghanistan."
Hoyer added, "I think you're not going to see it discussed very broadly in the near term."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The U.S. military prison at Guantanamo is unlikely to close by the Obama administration's deadline of January 2010, two senior administration officials said late Friday.
They cited legal complications for the delay, but said they were still optimistic about shutting the facility soon.
The announcement represents a blow to the president, who signed an executive order with great fanfare in January, during his first week in office, setting the deadline to close the facility.
The delay may provide fodder for Republicans like former Vice President Dick Cheney, who has argued that shutting the prison would make the United States less safe. He said Obama should have had a detailed plan in place before signing the order.
In a written statement, U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky noted the announcement, and said, "even White House officials are now acknowledging that there is still no alternative that will keep Americans as safe as housing detainees at that secure facility off our shores.
"Americans and a bipartisan majority in Congress will continue to reject
any effort to close Guantanamo until there is a plan that keeps Americans as safe or safer than keeping detainees in the secure detention center."
The senior administration officials insisted the White House is making progress in finding third-party countries to accept the remaining detainees.