Guantanamo Bay’s prisoners might soon be moving to these US states

Where to?
Where to?
Image: Reuters/Claudia Daut
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It’s time for a firm farewell to Guantanamo Bay detention camp. The United States’ troubled military prison on the coast of Cuba is finally close to closing, years after President Barack Obama’s long-stalled promise was first made. The problem is what to do with the center’s 114 prisoners.

Congress has forbidden the transfer of Guantanamo inmates onto American soil, but the Obama administration is pushing to lift the ban. If it succeeds, some detainees might be moved to remote locations in Colorado, Kansas, and South Carolina.

Pentagon officials are currently on the ground in Colorado, looking to see whether the state’s most secure corrective centers might be able to take on a “limited” number of Guantanamo prisoners, reported the Associated Press on Tuesday (Oct. 13). One local option is the Administrative Maximum Facility (ADX) in Florence, where the “worst of the worst” of America’s prisoners, from cartel leaders to the Unabomber, have been sent in the past.

A penitentiary in Canon City, Colorado is being considered as well, along with centers in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and Charleston, South Carolina.

Also complicating the potential transfer, though, is the contested status of Guantanamo’s prisoners themselves. Nearly half have been cleared for release and are no longer considered a security threat. Many others are considered too dangerous to release, but are not actually facing charges, raising questions of rights violations should they be relocated to areas under US home jurisdiction.