The Biden administration said that they intended to shutter the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba by the end of the president’s term.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed the intended closure during the media briefing on Friday.
“That certainly is our goal and our intention,” said Psaki when asked about the closing of the detention center.
“And we are three weeks in, I realize, at a certain point I can’t say that anymore, but we are still just three and a half weeks in, so we are undertaking an NSC process, which is how it should work. Through that, to work with the interagency, to assess the current state of play that the Biden administration has inherited from the previous administration,” she explained.
“I would note that in order to see this process through completely and thoroughly, there are a number of key policy roles that still need to be filled within the interagency,” Psaki added.
If the Biden administration were successful in their intention to close the prison it would fulfill a promise made by the former Obama administration in Feb. 2016.
“For many years, it has been clear that the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay does not advance our national security—it undermines it,” former President Barack Obama said at the time, with then-Vice President Joe Biden standing next to him.
At the time there were 91 detainees at the prison, but there are currently only 40 left.
Among those detained at the prison is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the al-Qaeda terrorist who masterminded the September 11 attacks that killed 2,997 Americans. In January it was reported that detainees at the center would be given the option to receive the coronavirus vaccine.