Rather than Close Gitmo, We’ll Just Intercept More Medical Goods for Iran

A lot of people are talking about this story, reporting that the Envoy in charge of shutting down Gitmo will be reassigned.

The State Department on Monday reassigned Daniel Fried, the special envoy for closing the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and will not replace him, according to an internal personnel announcement. Mr. Fried’s office is being closed, and his former responsibilities will be “assumed” by the office of the department’s legal adviser, the notice said.

The announcement that no senior official in President Obama’s second term will succeed Mr. Fried in working primarily on diplomatic issues aimed at repatriating or resettling detainees appeared to signal that the administration does not currently see the closing of the Guantánamo Bay prison as a realistic priority, despite repeated statements that it still intends to do so.

But few are talking about where Fried is being reassigned: to the sanctions department.

Mr. Fried will become the department’s coordinator for sanctions policy and will work on issues including Iran and Syria.

Granted, both trying to persuade third countries to take detainees and convincing countries to join our ever-intensifying sanctions regime against Iran involve the same skill sets.

Still, as the sanctions against Iran cause increasing difficulties for Iran’s citizens, I think it worth noting how we’ve change our human rights priorities.

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