Dr. Boozman's Check-up

The Hill reported yesterday that the Obama administration is quietly working to decrease the number of prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility (Gitmo).

This comes as no surprise. No new detainee has been transferred to this detention center since President Obama took office because closing Gitmo is one of his unfulfilled campaign promises.

The problem is the president’s actions threaten our national security. We’re fighting global terrorism. That’s why we need to use this state-of-the-art facility and keep dangerous terrorists from plotting attacks against our country. Maintaining this facility and housing terrorists there is the best way to protect American citizens.

With my support, Congress passed, and the president signed legislation prohibiting the transfer of these dangerous terrorists to the United States. Unfortunately this isn’t stopping the president from transferring these vile detainees intent on destroying our way of life, to other countries.

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter told CNN in January that there “are people in Gitmo who are so dangerous that we cannot transfer them.” Then why is the president putting our national security at risk?

Removing these terrorists from Gitmo makes us less safe. These terrorists have shown their willingness to continuing fighting against America. In February, the same day the President submitted to Congress his vague “plan” to close Gitmo, Spanish authorities announced they arrested a former Gitmo detainee for recruiting ISIS fighters.

This is not an isolated incident. Obama administration officials have admitted that transferred detainees have reengaged in terrorist activities.

That’s why I’m fighting against the transfer of Gitmo prisoners legislatively by cosponsoring:

  • The Detainee Transfer Transparency Act, legislation to require the Secretary of Defense make available to the public the intended transfer or release of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba at least 21 days in advance.
  • The Protections Against Terrorist Transfer Act, legislation to prohibit the transfer or release of any individual detained at Gitmo to the custody of any foreign country unless the Secretary of Defense certifies to Congress that the individual no longer poses a continuing threat to the security of the United States, its citizens and its interests.

I’m committed to protecting American citizens and that means ensuring Gitmo stays open.