- The Washington Times - Monday, August 17, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The Obama administration is now beginning site assessment plans for domestic alternatives to the Guantanamo Bay prison - such as the Naval Brig in Hanahan, South Carolina and Ft. Leavenworth in Kansas. One South Carolina Republican is not so thrilled.

“It is unbelievable that the President believes they need to assess whether the Naval Brig, which is right next to an elementary school and a residential neighborhood, as well as just a short drive from one of the biggest tourist destinations in the world, is a better option for housing dangerous terrorists than Guantanamo Bay,” said Sen. Tim Scott.

“These detainees are the worst of the worst, including planners of the September 11th attacks and the attack on the U.S.S. Cole. They should stay right where they are in cells at the prison on Guantanamo Bay,” the lawmaker continues.

“Congress passed a bipartisan bill barring the transfer of detainees to the United States for a reason. Changing this policy is simply an awful strategy, and there are a variety of legislative options I will assess in order to fight these plans for as long as it takes,” Mr. Scott said.

Kansas Republicans are not thrilled either.

“Terrorists should not be living down the road from Ft. Leavenworth - home to thousands of Army soldiers and their families, as well as military personnel from across the globe who study at the Intellectual Center of the Army,” noted Sen. Jerry Moran.

“I will continue to push to prohibit the transfer of prisoners to Kansas or anywhere else in the United States. This administration’s last-ditch effort to carry out President Obama’s reckless national security decision before he leaves office is disingenuous and flawed,” Mr. Moran added.

Sen. Pat Robert calls the Guantanamo Bay closing “another egregious overstep by this administration.”

The lawmaker continued, “Congress has consistently stopped Obama by law from moving a single detainee to the U.S. I shut down this administration’s nominee for Secretary of the Army in 2009 to prevent moving any detainees to Kansas and will do it again if necessary. Not on my watch will any terrorist be placed in Kansas.” 

Mr. Roberts took on the administration over the issue six years ago, including placing legislative holds on nominees, thus blocking plans to consider Ft. Leavenworth.  He also cosponsored The Detaining Terrorists to Protect America Act that prohibits transfer of detainees designated medium- or high-risk over a two-year period. It also bans transfers to Yemen, home to several dozen of the 127 remaining Guantanamo detainees.


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