The Pentagon is preparing to transfer more detainees from Guantanamo Bay in coming weeks despite continued Republican opposition, according to defense and congressional officials.
The Wall Street Journal reports that, after five detainees were transferred last week, there will be another round in December, but defense officials refused to disclose further information on their numbers or nationalities.
Rep. Howard McKeon, R-Calif, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, complained at a recent hearing of an increase in notifications by the administration to lawmakers on coming transfers from the detainment facility.
President Obama promised since before he took office that he would close the controversial detention center, a move that has been opposed by many Republicans.
The transfers come shortly after the announcement of the resignation of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who was criticized by administration officials who spoke to The Wall Street Journal for moving too slowly to certify detainees for release.
Senior officials at the White House are impatient as the president’s term in office draws nearer to its end with the promise of the closure of Guantanamo unfulfilled, according to the Wall Street Journal.
House and Senate negotiators are debating whether to revise the rules governing transfers as a part of this year’s defense authorization bill, which sets Pentagon policy. The House version of the measure has proposed much stricter restrictions on transfers.
The House proposed its restrictions in the wake of the Obama administration’s decision to move five Taliban detainees out of the camp as part of the deal to secure the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was held in Pakistan by a militant group.