The Biden administration is launching a review of the prison at Guantanamo Bay Military Base in Cuba with the goal of shuttering the facility, the White House said Friday.
White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiBiden, Harris push big lie about Border Patrol 14 Mexican soldiers briefly detained in El Paso Progressives seething over Biden's migrant policies MORE told reporters Friday that the “goal and intention” of the new administration is to close the military prison by the time that President BidenJoe BidenPelosi sets Thursday vote on bipartisan infrastructure bill Pressure grows to cut diplomatic red tape for Afghans left behind President Biden is making the world a more dangerous place MORE leaves office. She said the National Security Council (NSC) is undertaking a review of the prison known as Gitmo.
“We are undertaking an NSC process ... to assess the current state of play that the Biden administration, we have inherited from the previous administration,” Psaki said, noting that a number of officials who will be part of such a process still need to be confirmed by the Senate.
Gitmo was opened during the George W. Bush administration following the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks to hold foreign terror suspects. The prison housed around 800 prisoners at its peak, but the population was whittled down substantially under former President Obama. Currently, there are 40 prisoners at Gitmo.
Obama sought to close the prison but was unable to do so during his term. Republicans opposed the effort, and Congress blocked Obama from closing the prison in defense legislation.
Former President TrumpDonald TrumpCheney says a lot of GOP lawmakers have privately encouraged her fight against Trump Republicans criticizing Afghan refugees face risks DeVos says 'principles have been overtaken by personalities' in GOP MORE reversed those plans, signing a directive in 2018 keeping the military prison open. He expressed unease at the cost of detaining prisoners at Gitmo the following year, however, after The New York Times reported it cost more than $540 million to keep the detention facility running.