Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Graves: Closing Gitmo threatens our national security

(From Sixth District Congressman Sam Graves)

Since September 11, thousands of young men and women have given their lives to defend America. We’ve spent so much in the war against violent Islamic extremism, and we continue that fight to this day.

That’s why it’s so disturbing to see the Commander in Chief jeopardizing all that our military has worked for just to fulfill a campaign promise.

Last week, President Obama announced his plans to close the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba, which is used as a prison for terrorists that have tried to harm American soldiers across the globe.

The President says closing Gitmo is a matter of national security. But if Obama wants to close the prison, it means he would have to let the terrorists go free back to their home countries, or transfer them to bases on U.S. soil. Either way, closing Gitmo does more to threaten national security than strengthen it.

The Pentagon recently announced that 13 sites in the U.S. would be considered for relocation of current prisoners, with Fort Leavenworth in Kansas expected to be among them. Last summer, representatives from the Pentagon toured Fort Leavenworth’s Disciplinary Barracks for that very reason.

But Obama’s plans directly violate standing U.S. law. The annualNational Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) has prohibited the transfer of detainees from Gitmo to American soil for the last few years, and Obama has signed each of those bills into law.

Moving terrorists to U.S. soil does not make Americans safer. It’s not only the wrong plan, it’s an illegal plan. And as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I will continue to fight against it.

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