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  • White House Delays Gitmo Closure Plan Yet Again

    The Pentagon released five more prisoners from Guantanamo Bay as the White House announced it’s delaying presenting a closure plan to shutter the facility.

    These five detainees, all citizens of Yemen, were released to the United Arab Emirates several days before President Barack Obama intends to sign the National Defense Authorization Act, which will increase restrictions on transfers to 2017. Specifically, the bill bans transfers of detainees to the United States, and on the appropriations side, prohibits the use of funds to modify or construct facilities to hold detainees from Gitmo who require indefinite detention.

    Unless the White House is able to work some executive magic, Obama’s 2009 campaign promise to end the detention center stands a strong chance of failing entirely.

    With the recent transfer, only 107 detainees remain in the facility. A total of 48 more have been cleared by the review board for release.

    Although the Pentagon has repeatedly stated it is not obstructing the administration’s efforts, only in the past few weeks have White House officials seen the bureaucracy start to cooperate.

    Meanwhile, the White House has again delayed the release of its closure plan, which it eventually hopes to present to Congress. It was supposed to be released this week. The delay continues a five-month-long trend of officials promising Congress of imminent release.

    Now, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest insists that the plan will come “relatively soon,” and Pentagon spokesman Cmdr. Gary Ross said the plan is “nothing imminent.”

    But GOP Sen. John McCain, an ally of the administration regarding Gitmo, has been frustrated with promises and insists that Congress should only be presented with a single option, instead of five or six options to close the facility. McCain has threatened a lawsuit if the administration moves to unilaterally take action. (RELATED: McCain: I’ll Sue Obama If He Tries To Close Gitmo With Executive Action)

    Earnest said that a court case would represent a total failure of Congress to put U.S. national security first.

    When discussing McCain’s threatened lawsuit, Earnest noted, “That gives you a pretty good sense of what we’re up against, right? Even our friends on this issue are threatening law suits.”

    Follow Jonah Bennett on Twitter

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    Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

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