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Trump Issues Executive Order Continuing Operation of Military Prison at Guantanamo Bay

Just before the 2018 State of the Union address, President Donald Trump issued an executive order aimed at continuing the operation of the US military’s prison facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

While President Barack Obama repeatedly vowed to close the prison — which primarily detains high profile Islamic terror suspects — Trump has completely reversed the executive branch’s stance on GTMO. 41 prisoners are currently being held on the base, and that number could now potentially grow.

He justified the decision in his SOTU address tonight:

“In the past, we have foolishly released hundreds of dangerous terrorists, only to meet them again on the battlefield ― including the ISIS leader, al-Baghdadi. So today, I am keeping another promise. I just signed an order directing Secretary Mattis to reexamine our military detention policy and to keep open the detention facilities at Guantánamo Bay. I am also asking the Congress to ensure that, in the fight against ISIS and al-Qa’ida, we continue to have all necessary power to detain terrorists ― wherever we chase them down.”

The full reasoning behind the GTMO shift can be read on the White House website. Though, one aspect not noted in Trump’s SOTU is the administration’s support of possibly bringing more detainees to the prison.

On top of the new GTMO policy, Trump noted that US forces and allies in Afghanistan have “new rules of engagement” — meaning they are now allowed to use more violence against residents of the country they deem to be enemies.

Watch above, via CNN.

[image via screengrab]

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Caleb Ecarma was a reporter at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter here: @calebecarma