The Democrats’ Guantanamo Language: Dangerously Inadequate

Apr 12, 2011
Press Release

The Democrats’ Guantanamo Language: Dangerously Inadequate
The Democrats’ language pertaining to the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and the transfer or release of detainees is dangerously inadequate, and could allow these criminals and terrorists to be released at large into the U.S. with no notification and insufficient protection of the American public. The insertion of this language into the rule of the emergency war Supplemental is a politically-motivated attempt to lull the public into a false sense of security while providing political cover for the Democrat Majority and the Obama Administration to go forward with their plans to close Guantanamo – without adequate planning and consultation with Congress or the American people.  
“It is simply unacceptable for the Democrat majority to piggy-back this controversial and hazardous policy onto bill that provides critical funding for our troops, their families, and our military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan,” House Appropriations Ranking Republican Jerry Lewis said. “Releasing these people into local communities with no notice is an extraordinarily troubling proposition that runs contrary to existing policies and defies common sense.”
Make no mistake, the language included in the rule for the Supplemental allows the release of detainees into the U.S. after October 1, 2009. To make matters even worse, the language:
1.)    Does NOT require the Administration to conduct a risk assessment of the dangers of releasing Guantanamo detainees into American communities.
2.)    Does NOT require ANY notification – including to Congress, Governors, State Legislatures, or local communities – as to when and where detainees will be released outright into the general public after October 1, 2009.
3.)    For those detainees transferred into the U.S. for criminal detention or prosecution, does NOT require the Administration to conduct a risk assessment to ensure the safety and security of the local community or residents. The only requirement is for a risk assessment that pertains to whether or not the transfer is a “national security” risk.   
4.)    Does NOT require the consent of the relevant State Governors or State Legislatures for the transfer of detainees for detention or prosecution – and it only gives the Governor 30 days notice prior to the transfer to their State.
5.)    Does NOT require a certification by the Administration that there will be no adverse legal repercussions resulting from the transfer of criminal detainees into the U.S. The act of bringing detainees onto U.S. soil could impact the ability to further detain or prosecute them and undermine our ability to bring these detainees to justice.

112th Congress