A military analyst says shutting down the U.S. terrorist detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba remains a bad idea fraught with troublesome legal issues.
Barack Obama wanted to shutter Gitmo during his eight years in the White House, which would mean turning off the lights in a facility that has held foreign terrorists since the 9-11 attacks, but Republicans in Congress fought him and Donald Trump kept it operating.
But now the Biden administration has announced a “review” of the prison’s future.
"In theory, I think everyone would like to close Guantanamo down,” observes Kirk Lippold, a retired Navy officer who commanded the USS Cole when it was attacked by terrorists in 2000. “But the reality that people don't want to own up to, and don't want to face, is that if we were to close Guantanamo Bay, where would we put all of those terrorists?”
The terrorists housed at Gitmo are the “worst of the worst,” Lippold advises, and shutting down the facility would mean they are coming to the United States.
The federal government is barred by law from transferring any Gitmo detainees to the U.S. mainland, and getting congressional approval with a slim Democrat majority could be a tough challenge.
Lippold points out that even Eric Holder, the former Obama attorney general, admitted Gitmo closure would be problematic.
"The minute those terrorists touch U.S. soil they would be extended the same constitutional rights as a shoplifter,” Lippold tells One News Now, “and I think that we would be fraught with all kinds of legal issues."