During the 2008 primary, then Senator Obama, promised that one of the first acts he would take as President would be to close down the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Fast forward six years and the prison is still open but President Obama, who has been re-energized since Republicans took over the U.S Senate and strengthen their stronghold in the U.S House, on Sunday announced in a TV interview set for broadcast on Sunday that he will do “everything I can” to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, after four Afghan detainees held there were sent home.
Obama promised to shut the internationally condemned prison that he argues is damaging America’s image around the world. But he has been unable to do so, partly because of obstacles posed by the U.S. Congress. Republicans see Guantanamo as a reason we have not been attacked on American soil since September 11, 2001. Obama and others argue that this only emboldens our enemies and the prison has countless times violated human rights and make us morally no better than the enemy we are fighting against.
“I’m going to be doing everything I can to close it,” Obama said on CNN’s “State of the Union with Candy Crowley,” in an interview taped on Friday.
“It is something that continues to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world, the fact that these folks are being held,” he said.
“It is contrary to our values and it is wildly expensive. We’re spending millions for each individual there. And we have drawn down the population there significantly,” he added.
In a small step to start the closing process, four Afghans held for over a decade at Guantanamo have been sent home, the Pentagon said on Saturday.