Obama Won’t Rule Out Releasing Gitmo Detainees in US

"National Security" Would Govern Releases, White House Insists

According to White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, the Obama Administration has not yet abandoned the possibility of releasing some of the detainees held at Guantanamo Bay into the United States. Any such release would, according to Gibbs, have to be governed by considerations of “national security.”

Congress has vehemently opposed such a possibility and officials have conceded that at the moment such a plan is “not doable.” The administration is left scrambling to find nations which will accept detainees which have been ordered released by the courts.

The Obama Administration’s efforts to convince Europe to accept detainees has been hindered in no small part by the reluctance to allow any of the detainees into the US. It may be, then, that the administration will want to give the appearance that the possibility still exists internationally, even as it admits privately that the backlash from Congress makes it impossible.

President Obama has said that some of the detainees which the administration is unable or unwilling to charge with any crimes will be kept under indefinite detention without trial, though the effort to close the facility may require them to be held in prisons on US soil.

Lawrence Wilkerson, a former State Department official, has conceded that the vast majority of the detainees at the facility are innocent, many of them have been there for six or seven years.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.