Vice President Joe Biden dropped a horrifying bombshell on Thursday when he revealed that the White House expects Guantanamo Bay to be closed by the time Barack Obama leaves office on January 20.
“That is my hope and expectation,” he told a news conference in Sweden, according to Daily Mail.
The White House has been trying to close the facility, which houses those suspected of terrorist acts against the United States, since Obama took office. Congress, however, has managed to stall them and keep the facility open until now.
Biden’s announcement comes weeks after Obama released 15 prisoners from Guantanamo and send them to the United Arab Emirates. The transfer of 12 Yemeni nationals and three Afghans marked the largest single release of detainees during the Obama administration, but it was slammed as “reckless” by GOP lawmakers who pointed out that it put our national security at risk.
“The unclassified report I secured from the Department of Defense demonstrates that these detainees just released are among the worst terrorists who could jeopardize our national security and the lives of our troops,” Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire said in a statement. “It is reckless for the administration to continue to release terrorists like these to fulfill a misguided campaign promise to empty and close Guantanamo.”
Donald Trump has publicly stated that he is willing to try US citizens at Guantánamo Bay because the country needs a “very safe place” to keep terrorists. The GOP presidential nominee has ruled out closing the facility.
The Pentagon says there are 61 detainees still in Guantanamo at this time.