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Obama, Spain's Zapatero Discuss Guantanamo Detainee Transfers

By Anne E. Kornblut
With the process of closing the Guantanamo Bay detention center running behind schedule, President Obama on Tuesday discussed the effort to transfer prisoners abroad with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

Zapatero, in his first White House visit in many years, said he had spoken to Obama about Spain's offer to take three prisoners. "President Obama welcomed the initiative of Spain," Zapatero said. "We are still assessing the exact numbers."

U.S. officials had hoped Spain would take at least five of the remaining 200 prisoners, part of an ongoing negotiation with numerous foreign countries. Although a steady trickle of detainees have been transferred abroad, the administration is having difficulty placing or deciding whether to prosecute the most difficult cases, one reason the prison is now not expected to close by the January deadline.

Zapatero had been shut out of the Oval Office in the Bush years after withdrawing Spanish troops from Iraq. Now, however, relations between the two countries have warmed, and Spain has sent additional troops to Afghanistan.

Obama, speaking to reporters in the Oval Office, said he would make a decision on whether to increase the U. S. troop levels in the "coming weeks."

By Eric Rich  |  October 13, 2009; 5:10 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , Detainee Update  
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Comments

The reason these 200 detainees are being removed from Guantanamo is because the are "no longer enemy combatants" nor were they ever enemy combatants, for that matter. Most of these 200 people were not "picked up off a battlefield" as the Bush Administration led us to believe. In fact, they were given to us in exchange for monetary rewards. Essentially, the U.S. handed out money for anyone who was accused of being a terrorist.
With no trial, how do we know if these people are terrorists? We don't. Therefore we must release them. Holding these people in blacksites and in Guantanamo Bay without a trial has produced more terrorists than their future release will.

Posted by: lopat | October 14, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

With Obama putting out feelers around the world to find new homes for the Gitmo Guys, I have to wonder, when these people get loose and one of them perpetrates a terrorist attack, what is Obama going to say to the families of the victims? If I am one of those family members I will want answers and telling me "how bravely my family member died" isn't gonna cut it. If one of the released terrorists kills someone, Obama needs to be held personally responsible for that.

Posted by: jonweiss1 | October 14, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

why is obama letting the terrorists go free...
I wonder if one of these will show up at another terrorist attack...
if he does, it's all obama's fault...
noone elses...

Posted by: DwightCollins | October 13, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

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