WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Kit Bond, Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, today called on the White House to answer critical questions about how the President’s plan to import terrorist-trained detainees to the United States will make America safer.
“Because of the President’s rash decision to close Guantanamo Bay, terrorist-trained detainees are now coming soon to a neighborhood near you,” said Bond. “Before the President brings these terrorist-trained detainees to our communities, the American people need to hear how the White House decided that this course of action will keep our nation safe.”
In a letter, Bond asked the President to justify his decision to close Guantanamo and import the terrorist-trained detainees to the United States. The Senator renewed his concerns with the President after Defense Secretary Gates testified before the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee yesterday that as many as 100 Guantanamo detainees could be imported to the United States.
The text of the letter is attached.
Dear President Obama:
This week Defense Secretary Robert Gates testified before Congress that as many as 100 detainees from Guantanamo Bay could be coming to the United States. This startling admission comes on the heels of growing media reports that your Administration has already decided to release as many as seven terrorist-trained detainees into American communities.
The terrorist detainee facility at Guantanamo Bay houses deadly combatants who, when released in the past, have gone back to the battlefield to kill American soldiers. The Department of Defense has confirmed that at least 18 detainees who were released have gone back to the fight. The Pentagon suspects another 43 of doing the same.
This chilling evidence necessitates your Administration to provide the congressional committees the answers to important questions before any plans to import current detainees into the United States move forward:
· What were the conclusions of the inter-agency review with respect to each detainee housed at Guantanamo reached and what information was used to reach these conclusions?
· How will importing each of these terrorist-trained detainees into our communities make Americans any safer?
· What objections to or concerns about the release or transfer of any detainee into the United States have been raised by either the review team or any element of the Intelligence Community?
· What specific information did your Administration use to determine that the release or transfer of these terrorist-trained detainees will not pose a threat to American citizens?
· What specific actions will the Government take to mitigate the possibility that a released detainee, who may harbor resentment towards the United States as a result of being detained, does not act on this resentment to the detriment of American citizens?
· What are the specific monetary costs associated with releasing or transferring each detainee into the United States, including any costs to monitor their activities?
Our citizens rightfully expect that the United States Government will, first and foremost, keep them safe from our enemies. They should not be exposed to heightened personal risk simply because the Administration is trying to meet an arbitrary deadline to close Guantanamo Bay.