A group of U.S. Senators have introduced a legislation that would keep the Guantanamo Bay open, days after the Obama Administration restated its intention to close down the detention camp.
The group, comprising five Senators, said U.S. needs a safe place to keep terrorists, as they believe that the death of Osama bin Laden and the materials seized would result in arrests of more terrorists.
“I believe that the new intelligence collected in the raid on bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, increases the likelihood that more terrorists will be captured in the near future. We are going to want to have a safe, first-rate facility in which we can house these people in order to keep them off the battlefield and gain intelligence from them,” Senator Joe Lieberman said.
Earlier Senators Kelly Ayotte, along with Lindsey Graham, Joseph Lieberman, Saxby Chambliss, Scott Brown and Marco Rubio today introduced the ‘Detaining Terrorists To Secure America Act’ - a legislation that would keep open the Guantanamo Bay terrorist detention facility.
With questions remaining about where America would detain high-value terrorists it captures - as well as the lingering uncertainty about Guantanamo’s future - this bipartisan bill addresses the urgent need to designate a single secure facility for the detention and interrogation of current and future terrorists.
The legislation reaffirms Guantanamo Bay as a location for detaining unprivileged enemy belligerents held by the Department of Defence, directing the Defence Secretary to take actions to maintain GITMO as an operating facility for detention.
It also permanently limits the transfer of detainees to foreign countries and prohibits funding for the construction of terrorist detention facilities within the United States.
“Intelligence collected from detainee interrogations made the bin Laden raid possible. A significant portion of that information was obtained at Guantanamo and early reports indicate that included the initial information about the courier who ultimately led us to bin Laden,” said Ms. Ayotte.
“We must have a viable confinement facility to house certain foreign fighters we capture, and the only facility now available to us is Guantanamo Bay. It is a model prison, transparent and fully compliant with all domestic and international requirements when it comes to law of war detention. For the Administration, GITMO has become the only choice available. It should be used,” Mr. Graham said.
The White House has repeatedly asserted that Obama Administration is committed to close down the Guantanamo Bay.
Attorney General Eric Holder had also recently restated the administration’s intention to close the detention facility.
“The events of last week underscore the importance of information that U.S. gains from detainees, particularly those at Guantanamo Bay,” said Chambliss, vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
“For months, we have been asking administration officials where we could hold detainees we may capture. This legislation provides an answer and gives us the chance to gather actionable intelligence to keep our country safe.
“Moreover, as recidivism rates are more than 25 per cent, we cannot afford to let more dangerous detainees return to the fight,” he said.