Pentagon Reportedly Considers Allowing Gitmo Family Visits
The Pentagon reportedly is looking at the possibility of letting family members visit detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp.
The Washington Post reported that The International Committee of the Red Cross has been discussing a visitation program with military officials. The Post reported that while an earlier version of the Defense budget bill in Congress banned family visits, a newer version states only that Pentagon funds cannot go toward bringing family members to Guantanamo -- leaving open the possibility that the Red Cross could pay for visits, if they are allowed.
The change, if approved, would be an unprecedented step at Guantanamo and another signal that the facility may not close any time soon, despite President Obama's pledge to shutter the facility.
The Pentagon would not comment on discussions with the Red Cross, saying only that current policy continues to bar family visits.
"Although the Department of Defense accommodates family visits at our theater detention facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Department does not conduct family visits at the Guantanamo Bay Detention facility," Col Dave Lapan told Fox News. "As a matter of policy, we do not comment on any discussions with the International Committee of the Red Cross. We are constantly reviewing detention policies with regard to our detention operations globally."
The apparent discussion comes as some members of Congress call anew for the prison camp to remain open. Three senators on Wednesday introduced legislation stating that the naval station "shall be" a location for military prisoners accused of fighting the U.S. on behalf of Al Qaeda, the Taliban or affiliated groups.
Fox News' Jennifer Griffin contributed to this report.