Biden launches review of Guantanamo prison, aims to close it before leaving office
- 13 February 2021
President Joe Biden’s aides have launched a formal review of the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, reviving the Obama-era goal of closing the controversial facility with the aim of doing so before he leaves office, the White House said on Friday, APA reports quoting Reuters.
Aides involved in internal discussions are considering an executive action to be signed by Biden in coming weeks or months, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters, signaling a new effort to remove what human rights advocates have called a stain on America’s global image.
Asked whether Biden would shut the high-security prison located at the Guantanamo Naval Station by the time his presidency ends, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters: “That certainly is our goal and our intention.”
But such an initiative is unlikely to bring down the curtain anytime soon on the offshore facility, due largely to the steep political and legal obstacles that also frustrated efforts by his ex-boss, former President Barack Obama, to close it.
Set up to house foreign suspects following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington, the prison came to symbolize the excesses of the U.S. “war on terror” because of harsh interrogation methods that critics say amounted to torture.