President Barack Obama is about to release or transfer 55 Gitmo prisoners, despite reports that the Libyan believed to be behind the killing of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens was a former Guantanamo inmate transferred to Libyan custody.
The large percentage of those scheduled to be released are Yemeni, according to a list made public by the Obama administration.
Obama stopped the release or transfer of Yemeni inmates in 2010, because the conditions in the country were viewed as too “unsettled” at the time.
A release or transfer of 55 inmates means Obama is moving out one third of the prisoners at Guantanamo. And while it doesn’t represent a shutdown of the facility, it’s certainly indicative of a move toward that end.
Could it be that Obama is trying to set himself up to campaign as the man who is taking steps to finally close Gitmo, just as he recently reversed the Afghanistan surge in order to campaign as the man who’s winding down the war in the Afghanistan?
The ACLU has praised the releases as “a partial victory for transparency.”