Obama ➠ Not Closing Gitmo On Day One My Biggest Regret
Wait, didn’t he issue an executive order on his second day in office ordering Gitmo closed?
WASHINGTON – After scandals ranging from the IRS to Benghazi to the botched Obamacare rollout, President Obama said Wednesday his biggest regret is not closing the terrorist detention center at Guantanamo Bay on his first day in office.
Asked at a town-hall meeting what advice he’d give himself if he could go back to his first day as president, Mr. Obama said, “I would’ve closed Guantanamo on the first day.”
“I didn’t because at that time we had a bipartisan agreement that it should be closed,” Mr. Obama said in Cleveland. “I thought that we had a consensus there that we could do it [in a deliberate]fashion.”
Instead, he said, “The politics got tough, and people got scared by the rhetoric around it … The path of least resistance was to leave it open, even though it’s not who we are as a country.”
During his campaign for the presidency in 2008, Mr. Obama made a key promise of closing the detention center for terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay. He signed an executive order on the day after he took office ordering the prison to be closed within a year. He later proposed transferring the detainees to a federal prison in Illinois.
But lawmakers from both parties opposed the move, and Congress passed a law in 2010 that included prohibitions against transferring the prisoners.