According to the Associated Press, President Obama is moving ahead with his plans to close the infamous detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, despite bipartisan objections from Congress.
An administration official, speaking anonymously, told the AP that despite the uproar from the prisoner exchange that let five high-level terrorists go, the administration will be continuing its push to release the remainder of the prisoners and close the prison down.
According to the official, the Obama administration has been working to reduce the backlog of prisoners that have already been approved for repatriation into other nations or transfers back to their homeland. A “significant number” of prisoners are on the way to being released, however the official declined to give the exact number.
As of now, Guantanamo Bay has 149 men being held prisoner, with most of them being held since it opened in 2002 to hold suspected terrorists with links to al Qaeda or the Taliban.
When Obama took office in 2008 he pledged to have the prison closed within a year, howeverCongress has thwarted his attempts out of fear that the terror suspects would return to their former lives. In 2012, a House Armed Services Committee report determined that 27% of the detainees returned to their lives of terror after being released.
Last year Congress eased the restrictions surrounding the release of terror suspects however the 30-day notice requirement stayed in place. However Obama broke the very law that he signed into place with the recent exchange of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban members.
Earlier this week, Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, vowed impeachment if Obama releases anymore prisoners without following the law, however with Obama’s history of ignoring both the law and the Constitution the odds are good that he’ll do just that again.