CaribWorldNews, WASHINGTON, D.C., Fri. May 22, 2009: President Barack Obama says he intends forging ahead with plans to close the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, by next year.
Speaking at the National Archives Thursday, the President said his administration is in the process of devising `clear, defensible and lawful standards` for inmates who cannot be prosecuted for past crimes but who still pose a security threat to the country.
His comments come a day after members of his own party in the Senate voted to bloc funds he requested to close the prison without knowing those being held there will not be brought to the U.S.
But Obama insisted yesterday, `We are going to exhaust every avenue that we have to prosecute those at Guantanamo who pose a danger to our country. I am not going to release individuals who endanger the American people.`
The rule of law demands the release of 21 of the people currently held at the prison, Obama said, citing detainees whom `the courts have found that there is no legitimate reason` to hold.
Conservatives have complained that the president`s plans to close Guantanamo compromise American security and make terrorist attacks more likely.