Senators Roberts, Gardner and Scott: DOD Illegally Spent Funds Studying GITMO Relocation Sites

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Tim Scott (R-SC) and Cory Gardner (R-Co.) today said the Department of Defense (DoD) spent federal funds studying sites on the mainland to relocate prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay (GITMO) despite specific prohibitions of such spending in the National Defense Authorization Act signed into law by President Obama.
The senators released the following statement: “The information turned over to Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt confirms what we already knew, the administration violated the law and the will of Congress in its relentless pursuit to fulfill a campaign promise and close Guantanamo Bay before the end of President Obama’s term. Plainly stated, this is unacceptable. We strongly support the Kansas lawsuit and urge our states to continue pursuing legal recourse.”
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s office released a one-page response from the Department of Defense acknowledging money was spent, breaking current law, to conduct site surveys in the U.S. for possible Guantanamo detainee relocation.
The National Defense Authorization Act signed into law (Public Law 114-92) in November, 2015, specifically prohibits the use of funds to “transfer, release, or assist in the transfer or release to or within the United States, its territories, or possessions…” of individuals detained at United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Senators Roberts, Scott and Gardner have been outspoken opponents of President Obama’s intentions to close Guantanamo Bay. They have stated concerns with the recidivism rate among released detainees, the hundreds of millions of dollars it will cost to construct a new facility, and the fact that opening a domestic facility would place a bullseye for acts of terror on an American community. Sites in South Carolina, Kansas, and Colorado have been surveyed as potential replacements for Guantanamo.