Republican Opposition Fails to Block Gitmo Transfers

Still No Plan From Obama on Closing Facility

by Jason Ditz, October 15, 2009

Despite almost unanimous support from Republicans the House of Representatives rejected 224-193 a bill which would block the transfer of detainees from Guantanamo Bay to the United States for trials.

Rep. Paul was the lone Republican opponent of the measure

Congressman Ron Paul of Texas, a long-time critic of the Guantanamo facility, was the only Republican to vote against the bill, which would have effectively blocked its closure.

Rep. Jerry Lewis, a California Republican, said it was objectionable for terrorists to “be treated like common criminals,” adding that they were “enemies of the state” and should continue to be held at Guantanamo.

But while the bill’s failure opens the door for President Obama to fulfill his campaign pledge to close the facility, he still has yet to produce any sort of plan regarding how he might proceed. With his pledge to close the facility by January coming due in three more months, the administration appears to be remarkably slow-moving on any closure.

The US has eyed several possible destinations inside the United States to become the new Guantanamo, notably a closing state prison in Standish, MI. But while the Standish government was previously enamored with the prospect, growing public disquiet about making the small town home to one of the most infamous prisons on the planet has led the city council to delay a move to officially welcome the plan.

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