Pentagon: Guantanamo closure plan expected tomorrow

Pentagon: Guantanamo closure plan expected tomorrow

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A Humvee from the Puerto Rico Army National Guard's, 480th Military Police Company, patrols the perimeter of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba, Oct. 7. (Photo: Flickr / The U.S. Army)

The 2016 defense policy bill, otherwise called the National Defense Authorization Act, bans the use of funds for the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to U.S. territory, and set forth a requirement that the Pentagon present a plan for closure of the facility to Congress by Feb. 23 -- tomorrow.

This article has been updated, 5:28 PM.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Talk Media News) – The Department of Defense is expected to present a plan to Congress tomorrow regarding the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba, a requirement stipulated in the 2016 defense policy bill passed in November.

The 2016 defense policy bill, otherwise called the National Defense Authorization Act, bans the use of funds for the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to U.S. territory, and set forth a requirement that the Pentagon present a plan for closure of the facility to Congress by Feb. 23 — tomorrow.

DOD spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis said Monday it is the “intent” of the Department to make that deadline.

“We’re going to continue to transfer detainees to other countries who agree to take them, and take steps to ensure that the threat they pose to the U.S. is limited. Second, that we will continue to prosecute those who can be prosecuted. And, third, that there’s this small group of individuals that can neither be safely transferred nor prosecuted. And, it will address those three things and lay out a range of options,” Davis said.

In order to carry out this transfer to U.S. soil legally, new legislation must be passed by Congress. The plan is expected to include “a way ahead necessary to achieve the closure of Guantanamo and specifically point our the need for legislative relief,” Davis said.

The Department of Defense has made it clear that it will not take action that conflicts with the law, dispelling any indication that Obama would take unilateral action to fulfill one of his first term campaign promises.

Last week, the White House missed a Congressionally mandated deadline in the 2016 NDAA that required Obama to present a plan on how he planned to “defeat” the Islamic State.

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