Donald Trump signs order to keep Guantanamo Bay prison open

Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour

The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), the New York-based advocacy organization, issued a statement, criticizing the decision of US President Donald Trump to keep the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba open.

Obama's 2009 executive order stated the detention center should be closed "as soon as practicable", but it remained open because of opposition to its closure from the U.S. Congress.

In his first State of the Union address to Congress, Trump made clear he was fulfilling a campaign promise to keep operating the prison for foreign terrorism suspects at the USA military base at Guantanamo, Cuba. "Terrorists are not merely criminals". However, this is the first formal reversal of former President Obama's effort to close it down.

Last year, Sessions described Guantanamo as "a very fine place, " adding that he would direct future enemy combatants to the Cuban detention center rather than attempt to prosecute them in federal court.

In his speech, Trump said that the United States "foolishly" released hundreds of terrorists, including the leader of Daesh terrorist group.

"I am also asking the Congress to ensure that, in the fight against ISIS and al-Qaeda, we continue to have all necessary power to detain terrorists-wherever we chase them down", Trump said Tuesday.

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Although many prisoners were released from Guantanamo under Obama, he was unable to make good on the pledge to close it altogether, due to concerns over the fate of some prisoners deemed too risky for either being freed or moved to US soil.

Trump asserted that the United States maintains the option to detain additional enemy combatants at the facility when necessary, according to the summary of the order.

"While I believe opening Guantanamo after 9/11 was necessary, the detention facility had become a propaganda tool for our enemies and a distraction for our allies".

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was captured in Iraq by US forces and held in a prison near Baghdad. "Send him to Gitmo".

Trump made it clear during his 2016 campaign for president that he wanted to keep Guantanamo open and "load it up with some bad dudes".

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