WASHINGTON – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley issued the following statement regarding President Obama’s announced plan to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility for terrorists and enemy combatants:
“The facility at Guantanamo Bay houses terrorists and enemy combatants, many of whom are the ‘worst of the worst.’ Even the Obama administration has determined that some of these individuals are too dangerous for release anywhere in the world. The President’s proposal to close Gitmo would involve moving these enemies of the United States to prisons in communities across our country. Some could be granted trials in our criminal justice system, which would afford them additional constitutional rights that are unavailable to terrorists at Guantanamo. This is a dangerous, unnecessary and misguided plan that is contrary to a law the President himself signed, as the President’s own Attorney General and Director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have acknowledged. And perhaps most importantly, it’s a slap in the face to the families of victims lost to terrorist attacks,” Grassley said.
The plan would require the transfer of up to 60 enemy combatants to prisons scattered across the mainland United States at a cost of between $290 million and $475 million. Other detainees may be transferred to other nations. The plan did not specify which existing criminal detention facilities may be used to house the enemy combatants, and failed to provide details on how future terrorists captured by our military would be handled in the absence of the Guantanamo Bay facility.