President Barack Obama said on Sunday he is eager to redouble his efforts to release the remaining 131 suspected terrorist inmates at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility so he can close Gitmo’s doors forever.
“I’m going to be doing everything I can to close it,” said Obama. “It is something that continues to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world, the fact that these folks are being held. It is contrary to our values and it is wildly expensive.”
Obama conceded that Gitmo detainees are dangerous individuals but said he still favors putting them back in circulation with host countries.
“We know they’ve done something wrong and they are still dangerous, but it’s difficult to mount the evidence in a traditional Article 3 court,” said Obama. “You know, so we’re going to have to wrestle with that.”
Obama added, “We are going to continue to place those who have been cleared for release or transfer to host countries that are willing to take them.”
Obama explained that the optics of Guantanamo–not the dangerous individuals inside–are the real danger to American security.
“The Guantanamo detention facility’s continued operation undermines our national security,” said Obama. “We must close it.”