Fort Leavenworth is a possible site.
Despite the fact it’s illegal, further proof that the Obama administration is not opposed to moving inmates from Guantanamo Bay’s military detention facility to U.S. soil was confirmed this week.
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt disclosed the Pentagon spent federal dollars to scope out Fort Leavenworth — where the Department of Defense’s only maximum security prison is located — as a potential site to house former Gitmo detainees,” the Topeka-Capital Journal’s Justin Wingerter reports.
“As time runs out for the Obama administration to make good on its promise to close Guantanamo, this document raises new concerns for those who object to bringing detainees to the U.S. mainland,” Schmidt said after his office discovered the Pentagon’s actions through a Freedom of Information Act request.
Schmidt’s office underwent a 10-month battle with the DOD over the FOIA request.
However, bringing Gitmo inmates to the U.S. is illegal and prohibited by federal law. Additionally, multiple members in Congress have emphasized it will continue to remain illegal.
“After seven years, President Obama has yet to convince the American people that moving Guantanamo terrorists to our homeland is smart or safe. And he doesn’t seem interested in continuing to try,” Speaker of the House Paul Ryan R-Wis., (F, 53%) said in a statement in February after Obama confirmed his intentions to close the facility in Cuba.
“His proposal fails to provide 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. We will not jeopardize our national security over a campaign promise.”
Questions regarding the transference of remaining Guantanamo detainees have been rekindled. Just this month, Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C. (A, 96%), reintroduced a proposal halting detainees to be transferred to U.S. soil. This resolution was first introduced in February and is now gaining support from 50 Republican House members.
Similar to Kansas residents near Fort Leavenworth, the issue is relevant for Duncan and his district, since another potential U.S. site for the detainees is the Naval Consolidated Brig in Charleston, S.C.
“No state should be a terrorist dumping ground. I know the people of South Carolina are vehemently opposed to this plan,” Duncan said in a statement. “If brought to a city like Charleston, the community would immediately become a high priority terrorist target where millions of tourists travel every year to visit. In fact, any community forced illegal to house these notorious terrorists would be at risk.”
Currently, there are 61 detainees remaining at the Gitmo facility; Obama said earlier this month 20 of those are approved for transfer.
It’s important to note 66 percent of Americans are opposed to closing the facility, according to a Gallup poll from June.
Americans are concerned about former terrorists on the loose, and Obama should be, too.