President Barack Obama should not shut down the Guantanamo prison while he’s exiting the White House, says GOP Sen. David Perdue, who has just visited the prison.
Shutting the prison “flies in the face of reason when the most recent intelligence report shows that the number of former detainees returning to the fight continues to rise,” said the Georgia Senator.
“It is positively irresponsible to release or transfer the remaining detainees,” said Perdue, who is on the Senate’s foreign relations and judiciary committees.
At least 196 of the 653 related detainees are confirmed or suspected of returning to terrorism after being released, said a classified study which Perdue demanded the president release to the public.
“President Obama’s own Guantanamo Review Task Force has deemed the majority of the remaining detainees as too dangerous to transfer,” Perdue said. “We can’t allow a political promise to get in the way of our national security. I will do all I can to ensure that President Obama doesn’t empty Guantanamo Bay during his last few weeks in office,” he said.
In the 2008 presidential campaign, Sen. Barack Obama tried to make the detention center at Gitmo a negative symbol of President George W. Bush’s anti-jihad policies. In the 2008 campaign and after his election, Obama promised to closed the facility.
“On his second day in office, January 22, 2009, President Obama issued an executive order directing the closure of the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay,” Perdue said.
In his March 23 congressional testimony, the Pentagon’s special envoy for the closure of the detention center, Paul Lewis, said he was confident the facility would be closed and all the detainees released or transferred by the end of the president’s term: “We’re closer to it than many people realize,” he said.
Perdue said Congress must be vigilant in case the president ignores congressional restrictions.