Defense Secretary Jim Mattis bucked 16 years of tradition Thursday and personally visited Guantanamo Bay. The last time someone in his position went to Gitmo was in January 2002, when the war against terror was just getting started.
President Trump has not released a single prisoner from the facility. 41 men, all of whom are accused of heinous crimes, are still behind bars. The prison’s continued existence is highly controversial, but Attorney General Jeff Sessions believes that it’s necessary.
“It’s a perfect place for it (holding prisoners),” Sessions told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt when asked if he thought Gitmo still served a purpose.
“Eventually this will be decided by the military rather than the Justice Department, but I see no legal problem whatsoever with doing that.”
Sessions visited the facility himself a few months ago.
“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,” Justice Department spokesman Ian Prior said in a statement released before Sessions’ journey.
ISIS is losing its grip in the Middle East, but the terrorist group’s rabid followers haven’t given up. Westerners are still in danger. The men imprisoned at Gitmo are dangers to themselves and others.
Mattis has said little about his feelings on the subject.
“I believe that we should develop a repeatable detainee policy that is appropriate for enemy combatants taken prisoner under such circumstances,” he said almost a year ago.
(Source: New York Post)