Tag Archives: Obama

Prison at Guantanamo Bay: Obama sends closure plan to Congress

Newsroom24x7  Staff

gauntanamo Bay priosnWashington DC: The US administration met the deadline and on Tuesday (23 February, 2016) morning at 10:00 a.m. submitted to the Congress the plan required by the National Defense Authorization Act of fiscal 2015, seeking a plan on the future detention and on Guantanamo.

Briefing media on this, a senior administration official informed that President Obama and Secretary Carter have made clear, responsibly and securely closing the detention facility at Guantanamo is a national security imperative. The report presented to the Congress provides a way ahead for responsibly closing the facility while continuing to treat detainees in our custody in a manner consistent with international and domestic law, the official said.

First, according to the official,detainees who have been designated for transfer, have to be responsibly and securely transferred to other countries. Currently, there are 91 people at Guantanamo. Thirty-five are eligible to be transferred and the administration is optimistic that all the 35 will be transferred in the next several months. So it is anticipated that the population will be down below 60 later this year.

The officer said that the second element is continuing to conduct what we call the Periodic Review Board. These are periodic — as the term implies, periodic reviews of our authority to detain an individual and whether they continue to pose a threat to the United States. And if they don’t, then we make them eligible for transfer.

Third, continuing to identify individuals’ dispositions for those who remain designated for law of war detention, including possible prosecution either in Article 3 court, military commissions, or foreign prosecutions.

And fourth and finally, an important focus of this plan, working with the Congress on a location in the United States to securely hold detainees that we cannot transfer at this time to foreign countries, or who are subject to the military commission proceedings.

To summarize the population, the officer said, we you have  figures: 91 people; 35 eligible for transfer; 10 are in some phase of the military commission process; and the remainder, which is 46, are subject to law of war detention but are going through the periodic review board process.

Citing the reason for closing the Prison at Guantanamo Bay, the officer said: The reason (why) the President is doing this, finish what we began, which is Guantanamo is a symbol, it’s a negative symbol for our national security. The President has said this, the prior President has said this, many of our generals have told us this. It hurts us with our allies, it inspires jihadists, and it’s time to bring this chapter of American history to a close.

Obama unveils action plan to bolster cyber security

Newsroom24x7 Desk

obama newWashington DC : President Barack Obama unveiled a cyber-security ‘national action plan’ with an objective to tackle growing risks from new technologies and persistent threat of hackers getting active from around the globe. Citing the ever-increasing attacks on security systems, keeping America safe has been scheduled as a top priority in Obama’s budget planning, which got reflected, as he asked for USD 19 billion for cyber-security efforts in his budget request, a 35 per cent increase from current levels, with USD 3 billion earmarked to help modernize the patchwork of computer systems used in government agencies.

Speaking to reporters, Prez Obama shared his concerns of security loopholes and expressed his determination to take security of every citizen under utmost priority even while running his last phase of term as the President of United States of America. In Obama’s exact words — More and more, keeping America safe is not just about more tanks or more airplanes…We also have to bolster our security online. As we’ve seen in the past few years, and just in the past few days, cyber threats pose a danger not only to our national security but our economic security…If you’ve got broken, old systems – computers, mainframes, software that doesn’t work anymore – then you can keep on putting a bunch of patches on it, but it’s not going to make it safe.

US intelligence Chief James Clapper underscored those risks at a Senate hearing, pointing out that wider adoption of connected devices and new systems that rely on artificial intelligence could open up doors to hackers. He stated — Future cyber operations will almost certainly include an increased emphasis on changing or manipulating data to compromise its integrity… to affect decision making, reduce trust in systems, or cause adverse physical effects…Russian cyber actors, who post disinformation on commercial websites, might seek to alter online media as a means to influence public discourse and create confusion. Chinese military doctrine outlines the use of cyber deception operations to conceal intentions, modify stored data, transmit false data, manipulate the flow of information, or influence public sentiments.

The Obama cyber initiative has come in as an answer to recent years’ cyber threats — the cyber breaches and attacks which have engulfed both government and private networks — and is a sequel to last year’s cyber-security bill that aims to promote better threat sharing. The launch comes after disclosures last year that personal data from some 20 million federal employees, contractors and others had been leaked in a massive breach at the Office of Personnel Management.

Obama and Modi committed to secure climate change agreement : White House

Newsroom24x7 Desk

Modi-ObamaWashington, DC : US President Barack Obama and Prime Minster Narendra Modi spoke over telephone yesterday and shared their personal commitment towards climate change. During their telephonic conversation, as read out from the textual transcript of the discussion by White House, both leaders emphasized their ‘personal commitment’ to secure a strong climate change pact this week.

Obama called upon Modi in the backdrop of climate summit to discuss the ongoing Conference of Parties (COP21) at Paris. PM Modi took the opportunity to personal convey his condolences for the loss of lives in California shooting last week. Moving ahead in their talks, when focus returned to the objective of the tinkle talk, as stated by White House — Both leaders emphasised their personal commitment to secure a strong climate change agreement this week and their interest in both countries’ working together to achieve a successful outcome. .

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters that US President was closely following the developments in Paris where more than 180 countries were trying to hammer out a deal on climate change. A day earlier, Obama had spoken with his Brazilian counterpart. Yesterday, came India’s turn. Earnest shared with media — I can tell you that earlier today, the (US) President placed a telephone call to Prime Minister Modi of India to discuss the ongoing negotiations. I would anticipate that over the course of this week as the negotiations continue, the President would be in touch with other world leaders. The Press Secretary also mentioned that Obama was getting regular updates from his team in Paris about the status of the negotiations. He added the US President was optimistic about the success of the Paris summit, and, America looked up to the international community towards taking extra steps in mobilizing and moving forward in the lines of making significant commitments to cut carbon pollution.

Earlier, last week, in Paris, Obama had met Modi on the sidelines of the climate change summit. He had also met his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

US Prez refrains from mentioning India publicly, in Obama-Sharif meet

Newsroom24x7 Desk

Sharif-Obama meetWashington D.C: Contrary to the presumptions based on nuclear ambitions of Pakistan and its intent on setting up an agenda of India-talks with the US President, the topic of India debate did not find centre place in the discussions between the two heads of their respective states, President Barack Obama, and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, during Sharif’s visit to the US. Public statements certainly did not mention India, as India did not figure at least in the public comments made by US President Barack Obama and Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as the two met in Obama’s Oval Office after two years.

Welcoming Mr Sharif to the White House, Obama said he looked forward to using the meeting as an opportunity to further deepen the longstanding relationship between the US and Pakistan.’Obviously, the United States and Pakistan have a longstanding relationship. We work and cooperate on a whole host of issues — not just on security matters, but also on economic and scientific and educational affairs. And we’re looking forward to using this meeting as an opportunity to further deepen the relationship between the United States and Pakistan, he said.

Praising an extraordinary Pakistani-American community that is helping to build the country, Obama said – Those people-to-people ties are part of what makes this relationship so special.

Nawaz Sharif thanked Obama for having him as the Washington guest and said, ‘Pakistan-America relations stand over 70 years’, and it would be his endeavor to further strengthen and solidify this relationship. He assured that Pakistan looked forward to a very constructive engagement with Obama in adding greater substance and depth to the mutual relationship. Sharif went with his delegation which included Pakistan Finance Minister Mohammad Ishaq Dar, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar, Defence Minister Khwaja Asif and the Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz.

Earlier Sharif met US Vice President Joe Biden over breakfast and discussed regional, political and security issues, particularly the cooperation on war against terrorism.

Ahead of his meeting with Obama, Sharif had sought to shift the focus of talks to India rather than counter-terrorism and safety of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons highlighted by US. He told US senators on Wednesday that US would be the most relevant third party that could intervene to help resolve outstanding issues including Kashmir between India and Pakistan. According to a statement issued by Sharif’s Office cited by Pakistani media, the PM briefed members of Senate Foreign Relations Committee about his recent peace initiative towards India announced in the UN General Assembly.

Pakistan on Wednesday also handed over three dossiers to US Secretary of State John Kerry about alleged Indian involvement in subversive activities in the country. The dossiers were handed over to Kerry when he called on Sharif at the Blair House, who got briefed by sharif about the alleged destabilizing role of Indian agencies in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Balochistan and Karachi.