Tuesday Jan 29, 201305:13 AM GMT
State Department shutters Guantanamo closure office
Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:23AM
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The State Department is shuttering the office dedicated to closing the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba in an apparent signal that the White House has given up for now, The New York Times reported Monday.


The special diplomatic envoy tasked with repatriating and resettling the detainees, Daniel Fried, will become the State Department's coordinator for sanctions policy, according to an internal personnel announcement obtained by the Times. His previous responsibilities will be assumed by the office of the department's legal adviser.


Obama during his 2008 presidential campaign promised to close the prison that became a stain on the United States' human-rights record during President George W. Bush's presidency, but got nowhere after lawmakers refused to transfer the detainees to the continental United States to stand trial in criminal court. Obama threatened to veto a one-year restriction on transferring detainees to the United States in this year's defense authorization bill, but ended up signing it earlier this month.


At least 166 detainees remain at the facility, Obama said in December. This month marks the 11th year the prison has been open. The Hill




Obama's predecessor George W Bush set up the prison after the September 11, 2001, attacks. Many detainees have been held there for years without being charged. DPA


More than four years ago, President Obama pledged to close the Guantanamo prison, recognizing that it symbolized the U.S. government's violation of human rights and the best of American values in the name of "global war." Not only has President Obama failed to close it, he has embraced two fundamental violations of human rights that make Guantanamo a stain on the United States' credibility worldwide: unfair trials and indefinite detention. Huffington Post


It might be President Obama's biggest broken promise: closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay. ABC News


In January, 2012, U.N. human rights Chief Navi Pillay said the United States was still flouting international law at Guantanamo Bay by arbitrarily and indefinitely detaining individuals. The Economic Times



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