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President Obama Announces Long Awaited Plan to Close Guantanamo Bay Prison For Good

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By Dan Bart | February 23, 2016 10:09 pm

President Obama today announced a plan to close Guantanamo Bay, the seven-year culmination of the promise he made during the 2008 election.

Barack Obama’s administration on Tuesday released its long-awaited plan to close the U.S. detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and transfer the remaining detainees to a facility in the United States. But the proposal ducks the question where of that facility would be and whether he can complete the unlikely closure before he leaves office.

President Obama Announces Long Awaited Plan to Close Guantanamo Bay Prison For Good

President Obama Announces Long Awaited Plan to Close Guantanamo Bay Prison For Good

There are still 91 detainees in custody at the Guantánamo Bay facility, which was opened in 2002.

The Renovation plan, which was delivered to Congress on a new site are expected to cost as much as $475 million. U.S. officials say the plan is ultimately expected to save the U.S. somewhere between $65 and $85 million a year in operating costs.

But Obama’s case is largely a moral one. “Keeping this facility open is contrary to our values. It undermines our standing in the world,” he said at a news conference on Tuesday morning.

“I remain committed to blocking the transfer of Guantánamo detainees anywhere in the United States, especially Fort Leavenworth,” Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., said in a statement Tuesday. “We must safeguard the missions on Fort Leavenworth, the nearly 14,000 military and civilian personnel and their family members and the thousands of Kansans who live in the Leavenworth community.”

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