- Associated Press - Friday, August 21, 2015

JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) - Several elected officials from Kansas oppose moving detainees from Guantanamo Bay to Fort Leavenworth, citing the potential economic impact and security.

The outcry came after Defense Secretary Ashton Carter ordered a site survey at Fort Leavenworth, as well as Charleston, South Carolina. Carter has said other sites will be assessed, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported (https://bit.ly/1NIC1fS ).

Sen. Pat Roberts said in a statement he spoke with Carter on Thursday and relayed his opposition to relocating the 116 Guantanamo detainees to Fort Leavenworth or “to any other site on the mainland.”

“Secretary Carter told me that Fort Leavenworth is neither the preferred nor the determined alternative for relocation,” said Roberts, a Republican. “The Secretary indicated additional sites will be reviewed.”

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback said he spoke with Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert O. Work on Thursday.

“The idea of sending these terrorists, who hate America, to the Heartland of our nation is simply wrong,” Brownback said in a statement.

State Sen. Steve Fitzgerald, R-Leavenworth, warned that housing prisoners at Fort Leavenworth, the only maximum-security military prison in America, would be an invitation for attacks in the prison’s vicinity.

“Those of us elected to represent the interests of the people of Kansas must do everything in our power to ensure this does not happen,” he said.

U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran said if the prisoners were transferred to Fort Leavenworth safeguards could include closing off public access to Sherman Airfield in Leavenworth and stopping nearby rail and barge traffic.

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Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, https://www.cjonline.com


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