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Biden Intends To Close Guantanamo Bay Prison

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United States president Biden intends to close Guantanamo Bay prison.

The White House made the announcement on Friday that President Biden intends to close the facility that is located at the Naval Station Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

This is a difficult undertaking that the Obama administration was unable to accomplish about a decade ago.

The Report

Nobody was home on the dusty brown campus of the Islamic extremist reintegration center. The swimming pool was deserted. The lights were turned on at the art therapy gallery, but there were no guests. At the psychiatric and social services unit, not a single piece of paper was out of place.

COPYRIGHT_WI: Published on https://washingtonindependent.com/ebv/biden-intends-to-close-guantanamo/ by Tyrese Griffin on 2022-08-15T06:33:48.792Z

The beneficiaries of the Saudi government program that assists inmates in re-entering society were on leave for Eid al-Adha, the season of the Feast of the Sacrifice, leaving the location eerily deserted, similar to a college campus in the United States during Christmas break.

Only one painting in the exhibition provided a peek of the program's religious tolerance: It was of a woman smelling a flower against the night sky, her hair exposed and flowing.

The program, which has campuses in Riyadh and Jeddah, developed out of a counterterrorism campaign that began in 2004 to re-educate people who had returned from jihadist training camps in Afghanistan and others who had been affected by them.

Approximately 6,000 individuals have participated in some form of the program, including 137 former detainees at the US military prison at Guantánamo Bay, none of whom have been convicted of war crimes.

The last detainee was transferred to Guantánamo in 2017, just before President Donald J. Trump disbanded the office that arranged transfers.

The question now is if and how the center fits into President Biden's plans to dismantle the Guantánamo Bay detention facility, which opened more than 20 years ago to house terrorism suspects apprehended around the world in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.

Over the years, the US has kept over 780 men and boys at Guantánamo Bay, with approximately 660 at its peak in 2003. Saudi people drew special attention because 15 of the 19 hijackers in the September 11 attacks were Saudis.

Only one prisoner from Guantánamo was released by the Trump administration, a confessed al-Qaeda operative who is presently serving a prison sentence in Riyadh under an Obama-era plea agreement.

In May, the Biden administration returned another Saudi citizen, but only to send him for psychiatric treatment for schizophrenia, not jihadi rehabilitation.

More than half of the inmates at Guantánamo have been vetted for release, but must wait for the Biden administration to locate a country prepared to accept them with security measures. The majority are from Yemen, one of seven nations considered too unstable by Congress to absorb men from Guantánamo.

Other detainees are negotiating plea deals, and there is talk about convicts serving their terms in foreign custody.

The Obama administration attempted to close the jail, and Saudi Arabia was one of the countries involved in the resettlement plans.

According to former detainees, Oman accepted 28 Yemeni men in a very secretive program that provided them women, homes, and employment as long as they did not inform their neighbors that they had served time at Guantánamo.

None of the resettled men were ever convicted for war crimes.

The Obama administration shipped 20 inmates to the UAE, predominantly Yemenis but also several Afghans and a Russian. However, the country effectively imprisoned them before abruptly repatriating all but one Russian, sparking human rights accusations that the returnees faced persecution.

Conclusion

With that program regarded a failure, the Biden administration has been exploring for other choices for released detainees. John Kirby, the Pentagon's press secretary, believes Guantánamo Bay should be closed. He absolutely supports the administration's desire to do so, and he fully expects to be a partner in the inter-agency process and conversation as it proceeds ahead.

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About The Authors

Tyrese Griffin

Tyrese Griffin - Tyrese started her education in the performing arts at the prestigious Alexander Hamilton Academy in Los Angeles. She returned to civilian life after serving in the United States Army as a tracked vehicle operator, and started writing short stories and screenplays, as well as directing short films and music videos. She has published six novels, which have sold over 200,000 copies, as well as audiobooks and short stories for anthologies, and has earned several awards.

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