Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Hartzler: Obama plan to close Guantanamo undermines our security

(From Fourth District Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler)

When President Obama was sworn into office he pledged to protect the nation from all enemies, foreign and domestic. It is a high oath and primary role he is supposed to assume as our Commander in Chief. His recent proposal, however, calls this into question.

President Obama has unveiled a plan to close the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, allowing him to make good on campaign promises made during his run for the White House in 2008 and into his Presidency. He wants to shutter the detention center and send the remaining terrorist detainees to facilities in the United States and other countries, claiming the existence of the Guantanamo Bay prison undermines our security.

Really? The fact of the matter is that transferring dangerous terrorists to communities in the United States would undermine our national security. This common sense view is held by the majority of the American people – both Republicans and Democrats. We do not want terrorists brought to our communities!

Congress has responded to the will of the people. Bipartisan and veto-proof majorities in the House and Senate have passed legislation barring the transfer of these detainees to the U.S. In fact, the most recent National Defense Authorization Act, which was signed into law by President Obama in November, contained language prohibiting such a transfer. Even President Obama’s Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, and his Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter, have confirmed that current law does not allow for the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to the U.S.

The Guantanamo Bay facility serves a vital purpose in our battle against terrorism around the world and provides us with a safe facility to house these dangerous enemy combatants who are taken off the battlefield. Simply put, it would be foolish to close Guantanamo Bay, which remains one of our most secure detention facilities, to bring terrorists to our homeland.

The President must rethink his proposal making sure to keep all danger away from our shores.

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