In the last two months, President Obama has overseen the release of 22 prisoners from Guantanamo Bay, and he doesn't seem to be stopping anytime soon. The Hill reports:
With less than two years left in office, the president appears to be going full throttle, promising in a December interview on CNN "to do everything" he can to fulfill his 2008 campaign promise of shutting down Guantanamo, despite congressional opposition.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) slammed the president's decision as a foolish one:
“The United States must take every possible measure to prevent former detainees from returning to the battlefield," she said in a statement Wednesday. “The safety of Americans, not the fulfillment of a misguided campaign promise, should guide national security decisions.”
For those keeping count, Obama has released a total of 111 prisoners from Guantanamo, including the five he exchanged for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's release, an American soldier held as a POW in Afghanistan. Obama was widely criticized for the decision, which was perceived as his negotiating with the enemy.
Guantanamo Bay prisoners are placed there for a reason. Former Attorney General Edwin Meese III penned a piece for CNN in 2012 defending the detention facility by citing the law of war as justification for jailing these dangerous terrorists. He said Guantanamo played an ‘invaluable role’ in the war against terrorism. :
Without a safe, secure detention and interrogation facility, we would not have gained the tactical and strategic intelligence needed to degrade and ultimately defeat the enemy.
Despite the Senate Intelligence Committee's recent 'torture report' that revealed controversial, and what some would call inhumane, interrogation methods, there's no denying that for the past decade we have gained crucial information from these prisoners. What's more, many would argue such methods were justified considering the prisoners' egregious crimes.
If President Obama continues on his quest to close the facility, he will be going against Americans' wishes. A Fox News poll revealed that most want Guantanamo to stay open.
Does President Obama really want this to be his legacy?