US Senator Says Guantanamo Detainees Learn Of Their Releases Before Congress
Sen. [crscore]Jerry Moran[/crscore] accused the Obama Administration Wednesday of notifying detained terrorists at Guantanamo Bay of their releases before Congress. Current law stipulates that Congress must be notified of any of the administration’s planned detainee transfers.
Moran’s accusation came during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on defense posture. Both Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford testified before the committee.
The administration must inform Congress of any pending detainee transfers abroad, albeit in a classified setting, according to the current law.
During the question and answer period of the hearing, Moran said he discovered the law was being broken while leading a congressional visitation to the facility. In response, he informed Dunford and Carter that he will be introducing legislation that would tighten the law and force the administration to inform Congress of transfers before the detainees, so that the legislature may have the chance to prevent the relocations.
Moran has been a vocal opponent of the proposed shut down of the Guantanamo bay detention facility for some time, and has led several initiatives against its closure.
The Obama administration sent its Guantanamo closure proposal to Congress February 23. An initiative to continue and accelerate detainee transfers abroad, changes to the military commission process which determines a detainee’s viability for transfer and a plan to work with Congress to find a location for the detainees who cannot be sent abroad were included in the proposal.
While no specific location was offered in Obama’s plan, Moran claimed in a column written shortly after his visit that Fort Leavenworth in Kansas was being considered as one of the potential sites for transfer.
In an attempt to counter the detention facility’s shut down, Moran introduced a resolution on March 10 that argued in favor of keeping Guantanamo bay open as the U.S. fight against the Islamic State continues, given the U.S. may capture militants as the Operation Inherent Resolve coalition continues to push the terrorist group back.
“My recent visit to Guantanamo Bay reaffirmed my belief that it is the best place to detain individuals who wish to do our nation harm,” said Moran after releasing the text of the resolution. “The detention facility is a place to counter the serious national security threats we face across the globe. Captured militants affiliated with ISIL and other terrorist groups are dangerous and should be held at Guantanamo Bay, not in Kansas or anywhere else in the United States.”
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