Top lawmakers on Sunday urged President Barack Obama to delay his January deadline to shut the Guantanamo Bay prison, arguing more time was needed to resolve complex issues vexing the closure.
“I think we ought to leave Guantanamo open. It’s a 200 million dollar state-of-the-art facility. No one has ever escaped from there,” argued Republican minority Senate leader Mitch McConnell.
“It has court rooms for the military commissions trials which the president has now correctly, in my view, decided … maybe that’s a good way to try some of these terrorists after all.”
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Obama has ordered the notorious facility to close by January 22, 2010, and has set up a review of each of cases against the 241 prisoners from 30 countries still held at the remote US naval base in southeastern Cuba.
But on Friday the US leader said he was reviving military commissions to try those people rounded up in the US “war on terror” who still face charges.