Attorney General Jeff Sessions is visiting Guantánamo Bay for “understanding of current operations.”
“Keeping this country safe from terrorists is the highest priority of the Trump administration,” Justice Department spokesman Ian Prior said in a statement first reported Friday by POLITICO. “Recent attacks in Europe and elsewhere confirm that the threat to our nation is immediate and real, and it remains essential that we use every lawful tool available to prevent as many attacks as possible.”
Joining the former Alabama senator on the trip is his deputy, Rod Rosenstein.
Prior explained the visit “is to gain that understanding by meeting with the people on the ground who are leading our government-wide efforts at GTMO.”
Among the executive actions drafted (but not yet enacted) by the Trump administration regarding Guantánamo include keeping the base open and possibly bring in new prisoners.
As a candidate, Trump promised to load the facility – formally known as Naval Station Guantanamo Bay – with “some bad dudes.” However, no any new detainees have been sent yet.
Then-candidate Barack Obama, ran in 2008 on a promise to empty and close the facility, but in his two terms as president, he did not follow through after facing strong political opposition.
Sessions is a staunch supporter of the detention camp, telling radio host Hugh Hewitt in March that he has “no legal problem whatsoever” with sending new detainees to the detention facility.