Gitmo in Focus – VIDEO & TRANSCRIPT Scott: America is “more safe keeping those enemy combatants in Gitmo”
View Senator Scott’s interview HERE
Transcript of Senator Scott’s Interview on After the Bell with David Asman (February 24, 2016)
David Asman: President Obama’s plan to close down the Gitmo facility has run into a mountain of opposition. Many members of Congress are really bothered about a key piece of the plan – transferring the detainees to prisons on U.S. soil. You can guess why that’s a problem for them. Republican Senator from South Carolina Tim Scott has his own opinions on the matter. Senator, thank you so much for joining us.
First of all, it is currently illegal for thepresident to transfer the prisoners from Gitmo to the U.S. soil. Do you think the president is actually prepared to break the law in order to close Gitmo?
Senator Tim Scott: It appears that he may be indeed. We understand that the President sent over a plan. I looked over the plan for last 24 hours and that plan says nothing about how he wants to accomplish it. The one thing that is absolutely certain, the law is very clear today. It simply says you cannot transfer enemy combatants to domestic locations, and yet the President said yesterday that he is looking for the opportunity to do just that. I don’t understand what basis he has.
Asman: Senator, if he does that willy-nilly, and he has done that kind of thing before, and says okay, sue me, or send it to the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court, as you well know, is not a full Supreme Court. By the time they get to a full Supreme Court, he may be gone and Gitmo may be closed?
Senator Scott: Well good news is that this is not Republican or conservative issue. This is bipartisan issue in Congress where we saw overwhelming majorities in theSenate and House maintain the law as it has been. And we’ve been able to do that year after year after year because all know no place in America needs another target on the back of American citizens – where thousands could lose their lives if we move those enemy combatants to a location near us. And that’s one of the reasons why we are thankful for this bipartisan coalition of folks who understand and appreciate the necessity of keeping the law very clear.
Asman: Alright, well one of the things bothered a lot of people watching the president talk about his plans yesterdaywas his belittling of those who were afraid of closing down Gitmo. Let’s just play a little sound bite from that and get your reaction.
[VIDEO] President Obama: The public was scared into thinking that, well, if we close it somehow we’ll be less safe.
Asman: Scared into thinking. Isn’t it possible we are more safe with Gitmo?
Senator Scott: Well there’s no doubt that we were absolutely more safe keeping those enemy combatants in Gitmo for one very specific reason. We’re not afraid that he will close it, we’re afraid those terrorists will bring their friends to ourneighborhoods.
One of the locations they’re looking at is in South Carolina, Hanahan, South Carolina, where it’s a medium security risk facility on the Navy base. We’re talking about bringing the world’s worst terrorists to a neighborhood, residential communities, a dozen schools within five miles.
And what is his plan? Fulfilling a campaign promise and it is not national security. There is no reason for to us have this conversation whatsoever.