The Pentagon is scheduled to release its list of alternative facilities for holding former Guantánamo Bay prisoners after President Obama closes the facility, over the objections of Congress and a hefty majority of the American people.
According to Reuters, potential future homes for Gitmo detainees include the Centennial Correctional Facility in Colorado, the Consolidated Naval Brig in South Carolina, and the Federal Correctional Complex, also located in Colorado. The U.S. Disciplinary Barracks and Midwest Joint Regional Corrections Facility at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, have also been considered.
Reuters reports that “there are still 112 detainees at Guantánamo, of whom 53 are deemed eligible for transfer.”
A serious political fight over Guantánamo is brewing in Congress, where the House of Representatives passed a defense bill last week with measures to prevent Obama from closing Gitmo. The Senate passed the bill on Tuesday with a vote of 91-3.
“Under the NDAA, a one-year ban on moving detainees into the United States is extended. Detainees also cannot be transferred to Yemen, Somalia, Libya or Syria,” writes The Hill, which notes that President Obama called these measures “counterproductive.” However, the White House has not yet threatened to veto this version of the defense bill.
As for the possibility that President Obama might simply ignore the defense bill and close Guantánamo Bay through executive order, Reuters describes Republicans as “furious” at such suggestions and observes that resistance to such fiats has been a central theme in the 2016 Republican primary.