Monday | November 16, 2015

In Case You Missed It: Group of Senators “want more details on Gitmo transfers"

Washington- Last week, U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) joined Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), James Inhofe (R-OK), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Michael Rounds (R-SD), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) demanded increased transparency related detainees at Guantanamo and their transfer to other countries. Over the weekend, the Obama administration announced the transfer of five Yemeni men from Guantánamo Bay to the United Arab Emirates.

U.S. Tim Senator Scott (R-SC) has been a leading voice against moving detainees at Guantanamo Bay facility to any domestic site. He recently visited the detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay with Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) in Cuba. As part of his visit, they reviewed the detention operations and met with American troops serving at the facility. Last month, the President vetoed the initial version of the NDAA, stating concerns over Guantanamo as well as spending caps. The recent budget deal satisfied the President's concerns on spending caps; however the President continues to ignore Congress and the American people in his attempts to close the detention facilities at Guantanamo. Senator Scott is committed tousingevery tool at his disposal to block the transfer of dangerous terrorists from Guantanamo to American soil.

Senators: Obama left Americans 'in the dark' on Guantanamo Anna Giaritelli Washington Examiner November 13, 2015

In a Thursday letter, Sens. Mike Rounds of South Dakota, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, James Inhofe of Oklahoma, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, and Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott of South Carolina called President Obama to honor his 2009 promise to be transparent about released or transferred detainees.

"The administration's actions with respect to Guantanamo detainee transfers have not been consistent with your commitment," the letter states. "As a result, Americans are left in the dark regarding the detainee's potential membership in al Qaeda or its affiliates … Without this information, it is difficult for Americans to accurately assess the wisdom of transferring these detainees."

Current administration practices disclose only the names of released detainee and the country the individual is transferred to. The senators requested information on all detainees' previous terrorist activities and associations, previous assessments of the detainee's risk level to the U.S. and our allies, and behavior while in detention.

Republicans want more details on Gitmo transfers Jordain Carney The Hill November 13, 2015

Senate Republicans are demanding that President Obama release additional details on detainees that are transferred out of the GuantánamoBay prison camp.

Republican Sens. Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Tom Cotton (Ark.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), James Inhofe (Okla.), Mike Rounds (S.D.), Tim Scott (S.C.) and Thom Tillis (N.C.) sent a letter to Obama saying they are concerned about a "lack of transparency" regarding who is being released from the camp.

"When a detainee is transferred, the only specific information released by the Department of Defense is the detainee's name and the name of the country to which the detainee will be transferred," the senators wrote in the letter, which was sent Thursday but released Friday. "As a result, Americans are left in the dark regarding the detainee's potential membership in al Qaeda or its affiliates, terrorist training, or previous hostile actions against U.S. troops."

The lawmakers added that, without the information, including what will happen to detainees once they aretransferred, "it is difficult for Americans to accurately assess the wisdom of transferring these detainees."

The senators want the president to hand over extra information onthe 112 detainees currently atGuantánamoBay, including any previous terrorism ties, if they were involved in attacksagainst U.S. troops or their allies, and if they are a high-risk threat to the United States.

[…]

The administration is expected to hand over a plan to lawmakers on closingGuantánamo, which wouldlikely include moving dozens of the 112 detainees to U.S. facilities. Republicans are suggesting they will reject the proposal, and Congress recently passed a defense bill that would ban transferring detainees into the United States.

The administration, however, hasn't ruled out using executive action, which would likelyspark a legal battleover the detainees. Republican lawmakers are already pledging that they would want to take the president to court if he tries to leapfrog Congress.

The senators are asking that administration provide the information in a declassified setting, so it could be shared with constituents.

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