Fearing a potential battle over the massive $83.4 billion “emergency” war funding bill, Congressional Democrats have dropped the $50 million dollars the Obama Administration had sought to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay from the bill.
Though President Obama had promised to close the facility, Republicans opposed to the deal argued it might lead to releasing some of the innocent detainees into the United States and Sen. McConnell predicted it would “significantly delay the passage of this legislation.” The bulk of the bill was to continue funding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – which seems uncontroversial across both houses of Congress.
After running a campaign harshly critical of the Guantanamo detention system, the administration has largely abandoned its early promises to close to facility, and is now talking openly about restarting the Bush-era military tribunal system, long criticized for the dubious legality. Losing the allocation for closing the facility may well be the excuse needed for the president to abandon any pretense of working toward that end.
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