WASHINGTON — Keeping the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay open is “contrary to our values,”President Obama said Tuesday, as he released a plan that examined 13 potential sites for transferring the suspected terrorists but did not propose any specific location.
His plan sets up a last-year confrontation with Congress about a campaign promise made eight years ago. Terrorists use Guantanamo as propaganda to recruit, and maintaining it harms U.S. national security, he said.
The plan has three elements beyond closing the prison, Obama said. More detainees will be safely transferred, reviewing the threat posed by detainees who are not eligible for transfer, and identifying those eligible for military trials.
“This plan has my full support,” Obama said.
Obama said closing Guantanamo was something his Republican predecessor, George W. Bush, supported, as did his 2008 Republican challenge, Sen. John McCain of Arizona. Since then, however, the politics have got in the way, he said.
Obama said he was “very clear-eyed” about the challenges of closing Guantanamo. “If it were easy it would have happened years ago,” he said.
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