Arkansas GOP Sen. Tom Cotton railed against the Obama administration’s arguments for closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay Thursday, saying in a Senate hearing that Islamic terrorists should “rot” at the camp in Cuba before they “rot in hell.”
“In my opinion, the only problem with Guantanamo Bay is there are too many empty beds and cells there right now,” Cotton, a veteran, said during a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “We should be sending more terrorists there for further interrogation to keep this country safe.”
“As far as I’m concerned,” Cotton said, “every last one of them can rot in hell. But as long as they don’t do that, they can rot in Guantanamo Bay.”
Brian P. McKeon, the principal deputy undersecretary of defense for policy at the Department of Defense, testified during Thursday’s hearing. Cotton used the opportunity to question McKeon on the argument that the detention facility should be closed because it serves as a recruitment tool for terrorists.
“Islamic terrorists don’t need an excuse to attack the United States,” Cotton said. “They don’t attack us for what they do, they attack us for who we are.”
“It is a political decision based on a promise the president made on his campaign,” he added. “To say that it is a security decision based on propaganda value — that our enemies get from it — it’s a pretext to justify a political decision.”