President Barack Obama on Tuesday proposed to "once and for all" close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and transfer remaining detainees to a facility in the U.S., though his plan does not specify where.
Obama said that despite significant political hurdles and congressional opposition he is making one last effort to shutter the facility.
"I don't want to pass this problem on the next president, whoever it is. Are we going to let this linger on for another 15 years?" he said, in an appearance at the White House. "Keeping this facility open is contrary to our values. It undermines our standing in the world. It is viewed as a stain on our broader record of upholding the highest standards of rule of law."
Obama's proposal ducks the thorny question of where the new facility would be located and whether Obama could complete the closure before he leaves office.
The plan, which was requested by Congress, makes a financial argument for closing the controversial detention center. U.S. officials say it calls for up to $475 million in construction costs that would ultimately be offset by as much as $180 million per year in operating cost savings.
The proposal is part of Obama's last effort to make good on his unfulfilled 2008 campaign vow to close Guantanamo and persuade lawmakers to allow the Defense Department to move nearly 60 detainees to the U.S. But with few specifics, the proposal may only further antagonize lawmakers who have repeatedly passed legislation banning any effort to move detainees to the U.S.
This segment aired on February 23, 2016.
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