GOP Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas has introduced a bill to punish countries that have received former Guantanamo Bay detainees if those detainees decide to re-engage in terror.
Cotton wants to send a strong message. Under the proposed legislation, countries that appear on the biannual Gitmo detainee recidivism report would be stripped of U.S. foreign assistance.
Specifically, if a country receives a detainee on or after Feb. 1, 2015, and that detainee appears on the biannual recidivism report, the U.S. government will be automatically prohibited from providing that country with foreign assistance via the Foreign Assistance Act or Arms Export Control Act.
This is designed to give receiving counties an incentive to monitor former prisoners significantly more closely. Based on a report from earlier this month from the Director of National Intelligence, the current rate for suspected and confirmed terrorist cases of recidivism stands at 28.6 percent. (RELATED: DNI Report: The Numbers Don’t Lie, More Gitmo Releases Equals More Terror)
“President Obama seems to have little concern for what happens after a detainee leaves Guantanamo Bay,” Cotton said in a press release Wednesday. “But these detainees are hardened terrorists and their release puts U.S. lives and our national-security interests at risk. The numbers don’t lie: Almost one in three detainees released from Guantanamo Bay are confirmed or suspected of returning to the fight. Most recently, we’ve seen reports of former detainees joining forces with the Islamic State.”
Cotton served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The freshman senator has previously gotten into hot water over his outspoken comments on the prison facilities located in Cuba. Cotton has stated that, “As far as I’m concerned every last one of them can rot in Hell, but as long as they don’t do that they can rot in Guantanamo Bay.”
And according to Cotton, the facility needs some improvement. The problem is that “there are too many empty bed and cells there right now. We should be sending more terrorists there for further interrogation to keep this country safe.”
A total of 122 remain locked away in Guantanamo Bay, and President Barack Obama has made it a policy priority from the very beginning of his term to close the facility. On Wednesday, Obama expressed regret that he didn’t close Guantanamo Bay on day one.
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