If a Republican wins the White House, the military prison at Guantanamo Bay will almost surely be kept open for the foreseeable future. That is, unless Rand Paul nabs the GOP nomination.
Yet again, the senator from Kentucky has scouted out a position on a national-security issue that makes him an outlier, at least among senators running for president.
That was clear Monday after Marco Rubio introduced two amendments that would extend the use of the prison: one to prohibit funding to programs that would help close the facility, and another that sets a series of tough ground rules before a president could transfer U.S.-held land or water back to Cuba. This follows Rubio's statement two months prior that he would "absolutely" reopen the facility known as Gitmo if Obama somehow closed it, as he promised he would on his first day in office.
Rubio's amendments are more expansive than one proposed by Ted Cruz, the Texas conservative, to end funding for the transfer of detainees to countries covered by the State Department's travel warnings. Cruz's amendment would codify the U.S.'s informal, revived ban on transferring the vast majority of detainees, who are Yemeni, back home. But Cruz, Florida's Rubio and South Carolina's Lindsey Graham support a bill that would prohibit for two years the transfer of detainees who are considered "medium-risk" or higher, and any transfers to Yemen.