In a major speech last week, President Barack Obama again said the Guantanamo detention center in Cuba should be closed. We’ve heard that before such as the promise made to close it when Obama ran for president the first time.
Then and now, he had offered no plan that would be acceptable to Congress. The president has suggested in the past that the dangerous prisoners there be transferred to prisons in the United States. That is not acceptable to Congress, especially to the Republican members.
The president said the “corner has been turned” in the fight against al-Qaida. Certainly, there has been some progress in the fight, but al-Qaida still remains a serious threat to all nations. Among the prisoners held at Guantanamo, a high percentage of them are terrorists and would align themselves with al-Qaida if ever freed.
It would be advisable not to let them set foot on American soil even if they are behind prison bars and walls. They could have some evil influence on other prisoners and there always is the threat of escapes. Since al-Qaida seems to have a presence almost worldwide, releasing them in another country would be a mistake.
We realize determining what to do with them is a difficult and challenging problem. A plan of what to do should be worked out by the White House and key members of Congress. Maybe it’s best to keep them where they are. Is this going to be a “leftover” issue for the next president to deal with?