Bill sponsored by Sens. Daines, Tillis, Blunt, Rubio and Inhofe Gives Congressional Oversight of GITMO Transfers
Apr 12 2016
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, this week introduced the Protections Against Terrorist Transfer Act of 2016 (S. 2780) along with U.S. Senators Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and James Inhofe (R-Okla.). The legislation would provide Congressional oversight of the transfer or release of Guantanamo Bay (GITMO) detainees. It would 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.
“As this administration works to deplete the number of detainees at Guantanamo Bay to achieve a campaign promise – a promise that is in clear violation of the law – it is critical to our national security that Congress has a role in the transfer authorization process,” Sen. Moran said. “The current process is entirely subjective and allows detainees to be transferred and released who may still pose a threat to our national security. Creating more risk at a time when our country faces security challenges worldwide is irresponsible, and I will continue fighting to keep these detainees at GITMO.”
S. 2780 also retracts the automatic authorization to transfer or release an individual detained at GITMO after the submission of a 30-day notification to Congress. In its place, the legislation requires certification submission to the appropriate committees no later than 30 days after the Secretary makes a determination on the transfer or release.
The Obama Administration has been rapidly transferring detainees from GITMO since 2010, releasing nearly 70 GITMO detainees since November 2014. On Wednesday, the DoD announced the release of another 12 detainees to two countries, reducing the 91 remaining GITMO detainees to 79. As we know, GITMO detainees continue to return to terrorism, such as Ibrahim al-Qosi, now a spokesman and recruiter for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) or most recently Muhammad Salih Husayn al-Shaykh who has pledged to kill as many Americans as possible. With the total reengagement rate of GITMO detainees returning to the battlefield at more than 30 percent, an individual detained at GITMO who poses a continuing threat to the security of the United States should be held at GITMO.
Click here for the full text of the legislation.
Sen. Moran has long advocated against relocating Guantanamo Bay detainees. Sen. Moran and Sen. Daines sponsor legislation (S.2559) to prevent President Obama from giving GITMO back to Cuba without proper Congressional approval.
Sen. Moran also sponsors the Detaining Terrorists to Protect America Act (S. 165), which prohibits the transfer to the United States of detainees designated medium- or high-risk for two years. S. 165 would also ban transfers to Yemen, where dozens of the remaining Guantanamo detainees are from.
Additionally, Sen. Moran introduced a resolution to detain Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighters at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
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