President Barack Obama launched a final push on Tuesday to persuade the public and Congress to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Despite strong opposition from lawmakers who do not want detainees transferred to the United States, Obama pressed the legislature to give his proposal a “fair hearing” and said he did not want to pass the issue to his successor in January.
The plan put forward by the Pentagon and Secretary of Defense Ash Carter proposes 13 potential sites on U.S. soil to hold some 30-60 detainees in maximum-security prisons but does not identify the facilities. U.S. law bars transfers to the United States, and lawmakers are very unlikely to lift those restrictions, especially in an election year.
Last year on the heels of the announcement that the frozen relations with Cuba were thawing, The Dougherty Report spoke with Morris Davis, a retired US Air Force colonel and former chief prosecutor for the military commissions at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. At the time he was serving as an assistant professor at the Howard University school of law in Washington, DC, and we asked his thoughts about the judicial treatment of military prisoners at Guantánamo.