Updated 06:22 AM EST, Tue, Jan 26, 2021

Guantanamo Bay: Obama Administration Stalling the Prison's Shut Down? 

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In 2011, Barack Obama promised that all detainees at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility would receive hearings by the end of 2015. Now that the year is nearing its end, the US government finally admitted that it will take "several more years" to review the cases of said prisoners.

The Guardian reported that as of now, only 19 of the 107 men held at the controversial US facility have received their so-called Periodic Review Board (PRB) hearing to determine whether or not they pose a national security threat.

This admission is another blow for those hoping that President Barack Obama will meet his commitments before he leaves office in 2017. Judge Royce Lamberth, a senior judge who specializes in national security cases, dismissed Obama's determination to enforce his executive order.

Lamberth shared, "Obviously if the president cared, he could get this done in a year. This is a funny way to show [he cares], is it not?"

However, The Guardian said in the wake of Paris attacks, even the president acknowledged that his proposal to shut the facility and move the remaining prisoners to maximum security prisons in the US will not be taken too well at congress.

A senior administration official told the Washington Times that the administration "is working diligently to finalize the plan to safely and responsibly close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, which will be delivered to Congress when complete."

The official insists that Obama is doing the best he can on the issue, adding that "As the president has repeatedly said, the continued operation of the facility weakens our national security by draining resources, damaging our relationships with key allies and partners, and emboldening violent extremists. Closing the detention facility at Guantanamo remains a priority for President Obama."

Prisoners like Mohamedou Ould Slahi, for instance, have been held in captivity for 14 years, attracting worldwide media attention. In his recently published book, he appealed to the Washington DC court to force the president to give him his promised hearing, despite his lawyers insistence that he never fought against the US, nor does he bear animosity toward his captors.

His lawyer, Hina Shamsi said to the Court on Tuesday, "He wants to put this and more before the PRB and each day he can't do so, his despair grows."

In his book, "Guantanamo Diary," Slahi posed an important question as relevant in the events of 2001 as it is now: "Crisis always brings out the best and worst in people - and in countries, too. So has the American democracy passed the test it was subjected to with the 2001 terrorist attacks?"

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