Image: AFP Photo / Michelle Shephard / Toronto Star / Pool

The US State Department is expected on Monday to announce the appointment of a new lawyer to oversee the closure of the infamous Guantanamo Bay prison.

Cliff Sloan, a Washington lawyer, will take on the post, according to sources familiar with the decision.

Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters that Sloan possessed…

 “the intellect and skill as a negotiator respected across party lines,” adding “Cliff and I share the president’s conviction that Guantanamo’s continued operation isn’t in our security interests.”

Sloan has previously served with all three branches of the government and worked on cases in both state and federal courts.

The Guantanamo prison was set up during the Bush administration to try suspected Al Qaeda members and other terrorists. But it turned into a prolonged affair, with evidence on inmates often lacking and the methods chosen for interrogation coming under fire from human rights advocates around the world, who often called them “torture.”

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