A military veteran and terrorism expert is pleased Gitmo will soon no longer be under Barack Obama's control.
One of President Obama's most high-profile campaign promises back in 2008 was his plan to close the detention facility Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. While strong opposition in Congress has blocked him from doing so, he has been able to release numerous detainees, with nearly a third of them returning to terrorism. In fact, 12 former Gitmo prisoners have gone on to kill Americans.
But in the closing weeks of his presidency, Obama is determined to release even more detainees, who have been described as the worst of the worst. Just last week he freed four from Yemen who had suspected terrorist ties to al-Qaida. They had been held at Gitmo for more than 14 years.
CDR Kirk Lippold (USN-Ret.) commanded the USS Cole when it was attacked by terrorists in 2000. He offers his assessment of the president's recent actions.
"I think it's indicative that once again that President Obama is more concerned in creating a perceived legacy for himself than he is in the safety and security of the United States," he tells OneNewsNow.
Calls from left-leaning groups to close Gitmo hold no sway with the Navy veteran.
"I really don't care what Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International has to say about this facility," he says. "They're going to believe what they want to believe because they're using it as a fundraising tool, just like the terrorists are – and quite frankly it holds no weight with me."
Lippold is pleased President-elect Donald Trump has pledged to not only keep Gitmo open, but expand its use – and the commander also finds it fortunate that Trump can undo so many bad executive orders that Obama has issued over the last eight years.
According to a recent AP report, the prison's population is now 35, with 19 cleared for release.