More proof that Obama doesn’t care about stopping terrorists.
The Obama administration may be moving toward one of the biggest transfers of Guantanamo Bay prisoners in years, as part of the president’s slow-moving and still-controversial push to empty the camp.
A congressional aide confirmed to FoxNews.com on Thursday that the Pentagon has floated to lawmakers the possibility of transferring another 17 detainees. The aide said lawmakers will be briefed on the plan Friday — while voicing concern that the strategy is to reduce the prison camp population to “as low as they can get,” even if it involves “a good deal of risk.”
Who is on the apparent short-list for transfer and which host nations might receive them is not publicly known, and could be reviewed at Friday’s briefing.
The proposal was first reported by The New York Times, which said Defense Secretary Ash Carter has told Congress he’s approved the 17 proposed transfers. If this moves forward, it reportedly would be the largest number of transfers in a single month since 2007 and could bring the number of detainees at Gitmo down to 90. Officials described the 17 to the Times as lower-level detainees.
The White House would not comment on the particulars of the plan when asked about the report at Thursday’s briefing – other than to say 107 detainees remain at the camp, and “security professionals” have deemed 48 of them can be “safely transferred.”
“But I don’t have any announcements about any planned transfers at this point,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said.
The administration has faced a rocky path in trying to draw down the final batch of Guantanamo prisoners.
There were reports in November that the administration had to delay releasing its plan to close the U.S. military prison, but administration officials stressed that they were still working on the proposal.
This is complicated by a congressional ban on bringing the detainees to any U.S. prison. The congressional aide, speaking to FoxNews.com, noted that the administration is trying to reduce the number in the camp now, in order to minimize the remaining number officials may try to bring to the U.S. in the end.