Barack Obama wants to close Guantanamo before the end of its mandate

Guantanamo, en avril 2014.

Guantanamo in April 2014. Photo credits: MLADEN ANTONOV / AFP

The US president had made this promise during his campaign in 2007 but n has never been able to hold it. He will have to deal with a hostile majority in Congress.

“I should have close Guantanamo from day one.” These regrets, Barack Obama pronounced them in November. As he begins the last year of his second term, US President seems, so far, not resignation. Reflecting its recent offensive on gun control, he wants, despite the absence of a majority in Congress, get to close the US prison before leaving the scene. This is the closest collaborator of the president at the White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, who stated to Fox News.

Obama has “a plan”

Le président Obama, signant un décret prévoyant la fermeture de Guantanamo, le 22 janvier 2009.

Obama, signing a decree providing for the closure of Guantanamo, January 22, 2009. Photo credits: Larry Downing / Reuters

Close Guantanamo was one of the promises of candidate Obama during his campaign 2007. On January 22, 2009, the day after his inauguration, the first symbolic act of the new president was to sign a decree to this effect. Obama gave the military a one-year deadline to close the prison and there was suspending the operation of military tribunals. The measure then was the subject of a political consensus. There was nothing a few months later. The US president was even betrayed by his majority, which refused to grant the funds necessary for the transfer of prisoners, now actually in prison. Parliamentarians broke through the following year the nail by prohibiting their transfer in the US.

Back on the measure, make it one of his last big decisions, would be symbolic for Obama. “The president said he would present a plan to Congress, he would work with him to close this issue,” said his chief of staff, refusing to say more on the method proposed by the Democratic president . For its reform on the regulation of weapons, Obama has decided to bypass the Republican majority by legislating by decree. Many observers expect that it does the same on the issue of Guantanamo. His chief of staff, however, maintains that it wants to work with parliamentarians.

Avoid a new impasse

An indication of the method could come as early as Tuesday. The US president should that day his speech on the state of the Union. This event in American politics allows the chief executive to present to Congress the outlines of the policy it intends to apply for the new year. In January, Barack Obama will fold them one last time. It should take the opportunity to take stock of its action. But it might choose this moment to raise the case of Guantanamo before parliamentary.

It remains 104 inmates in the prison. For over a year, the authorities are working to send back to their countries or in third countries prisoners dischargeable. It should remain a person of fifty at the end of the year. The plan should concern Obama must present these detainees.

Beyond the symbol, the President wants to avoid the situation falls deadlocked for many years. “It feels an obligation to his successor, explains his chief of staff. It will solve the issue so that the next president does not find in front of the same challenges as him. ”

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