U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis visited the American Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to offer holiday greetings to troops Thursday. It was the first trip there by a Pentagon chief in almost 16 years.
Mattis was meeting with troops, not touring the detention facilities or discussing detainee policy options. His stay comes amid uncertainty over the Trump administration’s policy on continued use of the military prison.
President Donald Trump hasn’t released any Guantanamo prisoners or added any to the list of men who have been officially cleared to go home or to a third country for resettlement.
Mattis is the first defense secretary to visit Guantanamo Bay since Donald Rumsfeld in January 2002, just weeks after the first prisoners arrived from Afghanistan in the early stages of the fight against terrorism. The detention center was set up to hold suspected terrorists shortly after