Texas Sen. Ted Cruz introduced a bill on Tuesday that would declassify information about the terrorist activities of detainees at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba who have been released or transferred since Election Day.
The move came after a report that the Obama administration recently struck a deal with Oman to transfer 10 detainees from Gitmo. The move brings the total number of detainees down to less than 50.
Cruz and other Republicans have been heavily critical of Obama’s transfers and of his promise to close the facility before leaving office. Republicans point to a statistic that 30 percent of detainees released or transferred from Gitmo either return to terrorist activities or are suspected of doing so. Obama has also been criticized for transferring detainees with known links to terrorists. Several close associates of Osama bin Laden — drivers and bodyguards — have been transferred from Gitmo.
Cruz’s bill would allow the public access to the same information that the Defense Department and White House have used to determine whether detainees can be released or transferred.
The proposed bill will “require the declassification and release to the public of information on past terrorist activities of individuals detained at United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who have been transferred or released since November 8, 2016.”
“Even though the American people rightly rejected President Obama’s dangerous plan to completely empty the Guantanamo detention facility, he is still irresponsibly working to release as many terrorists as possible before he leaves office,” Cruz said in a statement on Tuesday.
“President Obama’s push to empty GTMO is reckless, and the American people should be made aware of the past terrorist activities committed by the individuals detained there.”
Obama pledged during his 2008 presidential campaign to shut down Guantanamo during his presidency. And while he likely won’t achieve that goal before he leaves office on Friday, he has drastically reduced the number of detainees at the naval station. According to The Journal, 245 detainees were at Guantanamo when Obama took office.
President-elect Donald Trump has said he will keep Gitmo open.