Making good on a campaign promise Obama made prior to his first term as President, Obama has effectively closed the detention camp at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base by executive order.
You may remember that the President signed an order in January 2009 to suspend proceedings at the detention center for 120 days and shut down Gitmo that year. However, a military judge threw a wrench in the plans when he rejected the White House request creating a challenge for the administration.
An unexpected perk to the Republican government shutdown has meant the furlough of military judges and the suspension of their cases. Obama has seized the opportunity to give an executive order to shut down the base immediately. Needless to say, Republicans are fuming but there’s nothing they can do since they created the situation themselves.
All enemy combatants are to be returned to their home countries within the week. Transport for the prisoners has become an issue, as U.S. military aircraft cannot fly into many of the hostile countries. Obama found a way around the problem by enlisting the help of billionaire Richard Branson and his airline Virgin Atlantic Airways.
The prisoners will be taken by military transport to Miami where they will be housed at the Miami Hilton until the details of their flights on Virgin Airways can be coordinated. Virgin will then fly the suspected terrorist’s first class to their respective homelands.
Once the detention center is emptied the Obama administration estimates it will take approximately 8 months to shut down and clear out the entire Naval base.