The Guantanamo Bay prison, a long-standing symbol of a controversial American past, may officially be in its last days. On Tuesday, President Barack Obama unveiled his final plan to permanently shutter the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba and passed it to Congress, where it certainly faces predictable opposition from the usual suspects. "This is about closing a chapter in our history," Obama said when announcing the plan, according to ABC News. "It reflects the lessons we've learned since 9/11."
The proposal suggests that 35 of the 91 remaining prisoners be transferred to other countries while the rest get relocated to the U.S., BuzzFeed News reports. "I am very clear-eyed about the hurdles to finally closing Guantanamo," Obama promised, adding that the politics are "tough" but this would have happened years ago "if it were easy."
The relocation of these U.S.-bound prisoners, though no single facility has been mentioned, would reportedly cost the government between $290 and $475 million. Several facilities in the U.S. have already been assessed to possibly house relocated prisoners, BuzzFeed News reports, but no specific information regarding the location of these facilities has been released.
"As Americans we pride ourselves as being a beacon to other nations, a model of the rule of law," Obama said when announcing the plan. "But 15 years after the worst terrorist attacks in American history, we are still having to defend the existence of a facility and a process when not a single verdict has been reached in those attacks." Though the potential move comes a full seven years after Obama first promised to bring an end to Guantanamo Bay, progress is indeed progress and should be respected as such.
Read the full plan here.