Senator Roberts Launches Online Petition

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Pat Roberts today launched an online petition to convey to the Administration the widespread opposition of Kansans to the closing of the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and the transfer of terrorists to American communities like Leavenworth, Kansas.

"Last week, I held a town hall meeting in Leavenworth attended by more than 250 Kansans outraged with the President’s decision to close Guantanamo and consider placing terrorists at Ft. Leavenworth, putting their community at risk," Roberts said. "The opposition was loud and clear from local leaders, members of the prison workers’ union and residents of Leavenworth and surrounding towns. President Obama and the Gitmo Task Force need to be aware of the implications of any decision to transfer terrorists to the heart of a community in Kansas."


Senator Roberts recently toured the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Ft. Leavenworth to see firsthand the problems with transferring terrorists to Kansas.


"While the U.S. military is more than capable of securing these terrorists within a facility," Roberts said, "there are real, significant external threats to those that live and work in and around such a facility. The USDB is located a mere 100 yards from private homes. A heavily trafficked railway and river runs along the perimeter of the Fort. This makes the USDB vulnerable.


To achieve the security necessary to protect the prisoners and those that guard them, the military would need to build a fortress. In Leavenworth, 2,000 acres of private land would have to be seized through eminent domain to make sure that protestors, media, curious or angry citizens and terrorists could do no harm. The state would also have to commit millions of dollars to security forces, since Posse Comitatus laws prevent the military from conducting any law enforcement activities outside of the Fort's property lines.


"The horrors we saw on September 11th, and the insurgencies we've faced since, show how committed extremists at Guantanamo, and those they associate with, are to destroying democracy and the freedoms we hold dear," Roberts said. "As our enemies work to acquire greater means for inflicting even higher numbers of casualties on Americans, and in an era when extremists routinely seize schools, destroy hospitals, and use civilians as cover, it is simply not acceptable to invite such activity into our communities. This is especially true when we have a perfectly safe alternative already in place at Guantanamo Bay."


Kansans can join U.S. Senator Pat Roberts in opposing the closing of the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and the transfer of terrorists to American communities such as Leavenworth, Kansas, due to the unnecessary risks it presents to all Americans, by visiting the Senator’s homepage and clicking on the "Gitmo" button on the lower left side at the following web address:


Senator Roberts, a former Marine, was Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence from 2003-2006. He visited the detention center at Guantanamo Bay in 2005.