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Shelby, Rogers and Byrne Say Prisoners at Guantanamo Pose a Threat

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Tuesday, February 23, President Barack H. Obama announced plans to remove the remaining prisoners being held at Guantanamo Bay to prisons on the US mainland. US Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama), US Representatives Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) and Mike Rogers (R-Saks) all released statements blasting President Obama’s plan to close down Guantanamo Bay prison.

Senator Shelby said, “Since taking office in 2009, President Obama has vowed to act on his campaign promise to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. I believe that closing Guantanamo and moving radical terrorists onto US soil is imprudent and reckless, especially when the President failed to detail any specifics to his so-called plan.”

Congressman Mike Rogers said, “President Obama’s plan to transfer many of the remaining detainees at Gitmo to US soil is nothing more than nonsensical lip service to fulfill a campaign promise. While we are still waiting for a comprehensive strategy to defeat and destroy ISIL, Obama continues to push for 10,000 Syrian refugees to be resettled in the US These examples demonstrate to me that he is not serious about the very real and dangerous threats posed by terrorists to our homeland. I will continue to strongly oppose any plan by Obama to close Gitmo or allow Syrian refugees on our soil,”

Sen. Shelby continued, “The prisoners housed at Guantanamo pose a serious threat to our national security, and their release or transfer should not be centered on President Obama’s desire to score political points. Current law prohibits the terrorists held at Guantanamo from being transferred onto US soil. I will fight against this dangerous and misguided decision by the Administration to blatantly disregard the law.”

Congressman Bradley Byrne said: “The law couldn’t be clearer: the President cannot transfer detainees from Guantanamo Bay into the United States. Today’s announcement, like many others we have seen from this President, isn’t a serious proposal. It is short on details and fails to outline how this proposal would help keep the American people safe. Congress should just say no.”

Senator Shelby said that there are two provisions in the fiscal year 2016 Commerce, Justice and Science appropriations bill related to Guantanamo Bay: Section 527 prevents the Administration from transferring detainees held at Guantanamo Bay to US soil and Section 528 prevents the Administration from constructing, acquiring or modifying any facility in the US to house detainees held at Guantanamo Bay.

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President Obama said, “Keeping this facility open is contrary to our values,” Obama said. “It undermines our standing in the world. It is viewed as a stain on our broader record of upholding the highest standards of rule of law.”

President Obama said that keeping the prison at Guantanamo Bay, “Is counterproductive to our efforts to fight terrorism.” There are less than 100 prisoners left at the Guantanamo and the cost of maintaining the facility is over $400 million a year.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) said in a statement, “President Obama’s Guantanamo Bay proposal fails to provide taxpayers with critical details required by law, including the exact cost and location of an alternate detention facility. Congress has left no room for confusion. It is against the law—and it will stay against the law—to transfer terrorist detainees to American soil.”

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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