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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Trump picks former Southcom leader -- and Gitmo defender -- John Kelly for homeland security

7

December

President-elect Donald Trump has picked former U.S. Southern Command leader, Gen. John Kelly, as his choice for secretary of homeland security, a further blow to President Obama’s hopes of closing down the military prison at Guantanamo Bay.

Kelly oversaw Southcom, which operates out of Doral and oversees Central and South America and the Caribbean. He defends the use of Gitmo, which Obama pledged to close down during his first run for president and has been transferring prisoners from.

“We're the good guys — they're not,” Kelly said earlier this year. "We can quibble over what they were doing on the battlefield when we took them, but every one of them is a bad guy."

Currently about 59 detainees remain there and Republicans, including Sen. Marco Rubio, want to prevent more transfers and a shuttering of the facility.

“Obama's plan to close Gitmo is a continuation of prioritizing his own legacy over the safety of the American people,” Rubio said in February, when Obama announced a proposal to close the facility.

[Last modified: Wednesday, December 7, 2016 12:46pm]

    

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