Nearly eight years into President Obama’s pledge to close Guantanamo Bay within 12 months, the most recent half-hearted plan to move toward reducing the number of detainees has been blocked by his own Attorney General, Loretta Lynch.
Lynch killed a planned bill that would have allowed Gitmo prisoners to submit “video pleas” of their guilt, in return for being sent to prisons in other countries, described as a “fierce interagency tussle,” by coming out publicly against it, forcing Obama to back off support for the idea.
The “third-country prison” idea would allow Obama to get rid of a number of Gitmo detainees without them ever coming to the US, with an eye toward eventually having so few left they could sell a plan to build a secret extrajudicial prison within the US for those guys and “close” Guantanamo.
In practice that plan was almost certainly not going to happen in the next six months, and while Obama might reduce the number of detainees, he’s just not going to close the facility. With the president having knuckled under in the face of other half-hearted attempts to block the detention center’s closure for almost eight solid years, it’s unsurprising that Lynch was also able to foil this plan.