Sunday, January 23, 2011

"How Congress helped thwart Obama's plan to close Guantanamo"

Photo: Olivier Douliery / Abaca Press / MCT

Carol Rosenberg (McClatchy Newspapers):
Many factors worked to thwart Obama's plans to close the camps — from a tangled bureaucracy to fears that released detainees would become terrorists. But Congress' prohibition on resettling any of the detainees in the United States hamstrung the administration's global search for countries willing to take the captives in.

The U.S. refusal to take in the captives "comes up all the time," acknowledged a senior Obama administration official of U.S. efforts to find homes for released detainees.

"Were we willing to take a couple of detainees ourselves, it would've made the job of moving detainees out of Guantanamo significantly easier,'' said the official, who agreed to speak only anonymously because of the delicacy of the diplomacy.

Still, the Obama administration has managed to arrange the find new homes for 38 Guantanamo detainees in 16 countries, including Bermuda, Bulgaria, Palau and Portugal. MORE...

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