President Obama has come under considerable criticism for failing to uphold his campaign promises to close Guantanamo Bay.
Each detainee can leave that limbo through one of four different routes): a civilian trial, a military tribunal, a foreign country’s prison system or freedom.
The third route, to send the detainees to a foreign country’s prison system, is only legal if the U.S. can be sure that the detainees will not be tortured there. Given some of the countries from which the detainees originate, this is not always an easy guarantee to make.
86 out of 166 detainees are apparently already cleared to be released. However, they are still being held because apparently there is no where to send them:
The fourth route, freedom, actually already applies to 86 of the 166 detainees. The U.S. government believes they can be safely released back into the world, but it has nowhere to send them. For many of these individuals, their home country will not take them or might torture them, meaning the U.S. has to find an entirely different country to release them to.
However, Fordham University Law Professor Martha Raynor claims that Obama does have the ability to transfer detainees from Guantanamo to other countries:
Obama has the power, Raynor explained, to transfer detainees from Guantanamo to other countries -- albeit after he has made "certain security assurances to Congress."
And "every day Mr. Obama fails to start the transfer process is another day that he affirmatively decides to keep these men locked up," Raynor wrote. "Mr. Obama must accept that the men held at Guantanamo are his prisoners, not George W. Bush's."
Is this accurate? Are there prisoners for whom an appropriate destination country (i.e. a country that has stated that they will accept the transfer, and which has provided some form of assurance that the prisoner will not be tortured) has been identified, yet are not being transferred because the Obama administration has simply failed to start the process (i.e. there are no other known factors preventing such a transfer, such as legal or diplomatic obstacles)?