WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Pat Roberts today announced that an amendment he supported will halt the President’s plans to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (Gitmo) this year and will prohibit the use of any funding to support efforts to move terrorists to the mainland. Senator Roberts has been outspoken on the dangers of relocating terrorists to American communities such as Leavenworth, Kansas. The legislation was offered as an amendment to the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2009.
Senator Roberts made the following remarks on the floor of the U.S. Senate:
"Today, those of us who have strongly insisted that no terrorist currently in Guantanamo Bay should or will be transferred to the United States have won a big victory.
"Faced with an embarrassing defeat and listening to the American people, the Democrat leadership has accepted an amendment offered by Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, myself and many others that prohibits the use of funds in the pending military supplemental bill to be used to transfer or locate any Gitmo terrorist to the United States.
"This is an important common sense victory for the security of our country and for Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Following President Obama’s decision to close Gitmo, the end of this year, there has been much speculation about moving terrorists to Leavenworth. I responded in remarks on the Senate floor. ‘Not on my watch.’
"The problem is while we have prohibited the use of funds to transfer terrorists to the U.S., the Obama Administration still has proposed no plan to meet his own deadline. That remains a problem and it means while we won a victory today – no funds – we must remain vigilant to make sure future plans do not include locations in the U.S. including Leavenworth.
"There are too many security risks and the possibility of negative impacts on our Kansas citizens and the Intellectual Center of the Army at Fort Leavenworth to even consider moving terrorists to Kansas.
"I hope President Obama and his team designated to come up with a plan to meet his deadline can come to the realization that closing Gitmo poses new problems in terms of security logistics and legal issues.
"Now that we are all on the same page, lets find a better answer and one that does not endanger Leavenworth, Kansas or any other community in the United States."
Senator Roberts has been an outspoken opponent of the President’s unwise and unsafe decision to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center. Senator Roberts visited Gitmo in 2005 when he was Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.