Mattis visits troops at Guantanamo Bay base for holidays

Defense Secretary James Mattis is visiting troops at the ...

Posted: Dec 21, 2017 4:32 PM
Updated: Dec 21, 2017 4:32 PM

Defense Secretary James Mattis is visiting troops at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Station for the holiday, the Pentagon said Thursday.

"Secretary Mattis is currently visiting with troops at Guantanamo Bay for the holidays to thank them for their service," Pentagon spokesman COL Rob Manning told CNN.

The Associated Press accompanied Mattis and was first to report on his trip. Defense Department Spokesperson Sue Gough also confirmed the secretary's travel to CNN on Thursday.

Multiple officials told CNN that Mattis was there only to visit troops and not to discuss detainee policy or inspect detention facilities.

Guantanamo Bay Naval Station, or "Gitmo," has been the center of political controversy for several years. Former President Barack Obama announced intentions to close the detention center when he was first elected, however, it still remains open and President Donald Trump has endorsed the continued, and perhaps expanded, use of the facility.

In November, Trump suggested sending the suspect of a deadly terror attack in New York City there to be held.

"Send him to Gitmo. I would certainly consider that," Trump said at a Cabinet meeting at the time. "We need quick justice and we need strong justice -- much quicker and much stronger than we have right now. Because what we have right now is a joke, and it's a laughingstock."

Following the attack in New York, Attorney General Jeff Sessions also raised the possibility.

"Terrorists should know: This administration will use all lawful tools at our disposal, including prosecution in Article III courts and at Guantanamo Bay," Sessions' prepared speech said. "If anyone has any doubt about that, they can ask the more than 500 criminals whom the Department of Justice has convicted of terrorism-related offenses since 9/11. And they can ask the dozens of enemy combatants in Guantanamo Bay."

Mattis is not the first Trump administration official to visit Gitmo, Sessions visited the site in July 2017, along with his deputy, Rod Rosenstein and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 996341

Reported Deaths: 16245
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1343262101
Lake658231151
Allen57160791
Hamilton45963460
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Elkhart35546503
Vanderburgh31975473
Tippecanoe27694256
Johnson24821440
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Porter22735362
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Grant9898217
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Noble7944106
Marshall7786134
Cass7462119
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Gibson6480113
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Ohio84012
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 1490451

Reported Deaths: 23327
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1620041662
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Butler50803707
Stark456401053
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Trumbull22357552
Fairfield22081241
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Medina21624305
Clark19513349
Richland18225280
Portage17579247
Wood17122220
Allen15627269
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Tuscarawas12372298
Marion11742175
Scioto11313154
Pickaway11246141
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Geauga8766157
Jefferson8439191
Huron8172139
Union806256
Washington7995137
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Athens765372
Knox7539138
Darke7525151
Seneca7166144
Ashland6761125
Auglaize663396
Shelby6374111
Brown626282
Crawford6147130
Mercer605793
Defiance6043102
Fulton588596
Highland585899
Madison584976
Clinton573890
Logan566292
Guernsey564867
Preble5623121
Putnam5227108
Williams515384
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Ottawa476686
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Pike428462
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Gallia408165
Hardin407176
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Henry356671
Holmes3539122
Hocking349078
Wyandot315761
Carroll294559
Paulding274345
Meigs256849
Monroe210553
Noble195146
Morgan188132
Harrison177042
Vinton161124
Unassigned05
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