Obama’s announcement on closing Guantanamo Bay sparks legal questions, heavy pushback

In a press conference Tuesday, President Obama laid out his plan to put the final nail in the coffin of Guantanamo Bay and remove its prisoners.

He invoked the name of former President George W. Bush several times noting that Bush supported closing the facility when he was president — as if nothing has changed in the past seven years.

Meanwhile, Florida Sen. and Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio announced the introduction of a bill to prevent Guantanamo Bay from being returned to Cuba, a move some suspect is behind Obama’s desire to close the facility.

“Since announcing the re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba, President Obama has given the Castro regime concession after concession, prioritizing political promises over national security, the integrity of America’s justice system, human rights and democracy,” Rubio wrote in the statement. “The Castro regime is already ripping the American people off and now it’s demanding the return of a U.S. naval station, which has been vital to Navy and Coast Guard operations in the Caribbean for over a century.

“Our military and intelligence services are trying to confront growing threats to our homeland, and we simply cannot hand over this critical base, especially not as the end result of President Obama’s dangerous plan to release terrorists back into the battlefield or bring them to U.S. soil,” he added. “Naval Station Guantanamo Bay has been an essential tool for our military to resupply U.S. ships supporting counter illicit trafficking and humanitarian missions in Latin America, as well as for mass migration contingencies. I am proud to support legislation to protect this base and keep it in American hands.”

The Associated Press noted that his road to close the facility won’t be easy as he will face strong opposition from the GOP-controlled Congress.

“The plan calls for transferring remaining detainees to the United States and seeks up to $475 million in construction costs that would ultimately be offset by as much as $180 million per year in operating cost savings. It does not specify where in the U.S. the detainees would go.”


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He also faces opposition from an outraged public, if social media response to the announcement is any indication.


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