The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
Texas A&M fans react after The Aggies win the NCAA Bryan-College Station Super Regional at Olsen Field on Sunday, June 9, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
The mad dash to Omaha
Ian Curtis, Sports Reporter • June 21, 2024

After Texas A&M baseball’s win over Florida sent the Aggies to their first Men’s College World Series Championship Series in program...

Texas A&M pitcher Ryan Prager (18) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Kentucky at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 17, 2024. Prager went for 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and zero runs. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Sixth sense
June 18, 2024
Enjoying the Destination
Enjoying the Destination
Cara Hudson, Maroon Life Writer • June 17, 2024

For the history buffs, there’s a story to why Bryan and College Station are so closely intertwined. In 1871 when the Texas Legislature approved...

Chris Hemsworth as Dementus in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.
Review: ‘Furiosa’ is a must-see
Justin ChenJune 4, 2024

My jaw dropped open in 2016. Rarely in life does that happen, but the viewing experience of “Mad Max: Fury Road" was something to behold....

Obama sends plans to Congress to shut down Guantanamo

President Barack Obama rolled out his plans — seven years in the making — for the closure of Guantanamo Bay Tuesday.
Guantanamo Bay, GTMO, is an American-operated, Cuba-based detention facility for maximum-security terrorists. At one time it held nearly 800 detainees, and that number has since been reduced to 91 over the course of multiple presidents’ administrations, according to Obama’s plan. Since Obama announced the promise to close the prison at the beginning of his presidency, he has received opposition from Republicans in Congress about the relocation of the detainees, as well as the potential of them committing acts of terrorism.
During his short remarks at the White HouseTuesday, Obama said closing Guantanamo Bay would mean, “closing a chapter in our history.”
“Keeping this facility open is contrary to our values,” Obama said in his remarks. “It undermines our standing in the world. It is viewed as a stain on our broader record of upholding the highest standards of rule of law.”
Danny Davis, a senior lecturer at the Bush School of Government and Public Service, said current detainees are potentially very dangerous to the United States.
“We have released people from GTMO that have gone back into the fight — we know that for a fact,” Davis said. “The Intelligence Services have told us that. Let’s say there’s 100 there, would all 100 go back into the fight? Probably not, but certainly some would.”
While some detainees in the past have been sent back to their countries of origin or to United States ally countries, instability in the Middle East prevents the U.S. government from sending them to the region. Obama’s plan gives some consideration to moving the more dangerous terrorists to an undetermined detention facility within the United States.
According to an article by CNN, the Pentagon has looked at several options for housing the detainees, including the federal supermax prison in Florence, Colorado, the military prison in Leavenworth, Kansas and the Naval Consolidated Brig in Charleston, South Carolina. Funding restrictions prevented any determination of precise details for converting the sites to detention centers.
Paul J. Springer, a professor of comparative military studies at Air Command and Staff College, said Obama faces significant hurdles in partnering with Congress to try to reach a solution everyone can agree upon about where to transfer detainees.
“It’s not that easy to simply figure out exactly what to do with the prisoners being held [at Guantanamo Bay]. They’re not exactly prisoners of war,” Springer said. “But they’re not exactly legal prisoners or criminal prisoners; they’re in a special category.”
Jordan J. Paust, professor of international law at the University of Houston, said Congress can place limits on bringing GTMO detainees to the United States.
“Early United States cases recognized that Congress can set certain limits with respect to place, time, methods or persons and things affected during war, but if Congress goes too far courts might conclude there has been a violation of separation of powers,” Paust said.
On Tuesday Obama said another reason for closing GTMO is the high costs of keeping prisoners at the facility. Obama said closing the facility would save the U.S. government between $65 million and $85 million per year.
Springer said he has heard both benefits and detriments in regards to closing the Cuba detention center.
“Most of the arguments for closing Guantanamo Bay are fiscal in nature,” Springer said. “It’s a very expensive location. The United States has a military base there, but it’s entirely externally supplied.”
Conversely, others question the decision to close such an effective detention center, noting that no prisoner has ever escaped. Derin Oduye, TAMU Amnesty International president, said this is an issue that needs to be brought to the forefront of the American focus.
“National security is important,” Oduye says. “As a nation, we need to deal with this now. We don’t want to prolong this for another 15 years, another 20 years. There is a genuine need for security.”

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