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Guthrie argues for continued use of Gitmo

October 9, 2009

U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie pushed for the continued use of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in his weekly newsletter delivered today.

Guthrie, a Bowling Green Republican, traveled to Guantanamo Bay in June, and said in a press release upon his return that “Having witnessed firsthand how this facility operates, I can say without question that it should remain open.  It is an immense resource to U.S. military and intelligence operations.”

Guthrie said during a visit shortly thereafter to the Messenger-Inquirer that the facility is not as stark as it has been portrayed in the media, and that the climate is more on par with what many of the detainees there are used to.

In his newsletter sent out today, Guthrie reiterated his belief that the facility should remain open. Here’s what Guthrie said –

In June, I visited Guantanamo Bay and saw firsthand how this facility operates. The individuals held there are directly linked to al-Qaeda and pose a great threat to the United States.

While the U.S. House of Representatives voted last week to prohibit the administration from transferring terrorist suspects from the Guantanamo Bay detention camp to face prosecution in the United States, officials struggle to meet the President’s self-imposed deadline.

The president signed an executive order this past January stating Guantanamo Bay, a military prison that holds terrorist suspects, must be closed by January 22, 2010. However, he had no plan in place to close the facility.

Recently, the White House’s national security advisor, James Jones, said the President’s deadline is proving harder to meet than officials thought. Several administration aides have come out saying that they are having problems completing the lengthy process of reviewing detainee files.

I have serious concerns as to how current and future detained enemy combatants will be processed. There needs to be a concrete plan in place for trying and holding enemy combatants that guarantees America’s safety. Many Kentuckians I have spoken with have concerns about imprisoning these detainees on American soil.

Until we have a plan that provides for the secure housing of these individuals, closing the base is not a viable option. I would encourage the President to visit Guantanamo, and re-evaluate his deadline for closure of the facility.

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One Comment
  1. Ed Marksberry permalink
    October 9, 2009 4:23 pm

    Guantanamo symbolizes to the world the Bush Administration’s era of lawlessness. While many detainees have been held without charge for five years and some have been subjected to documented abuses, it is difficult to understand why one would deny the need to undo the damage Guantanamo has done to America’s reputation. Many believed Bush used this facility because it was a legal “black hole” where human rights did not exist. Many believe that this is part of the cost of protecting America and being patriotic to America sometimes means you should ignore human rights. Benjamin Franklin once said that those who are willing to sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither. And experience shows that doing so risks losing both. Human rights and due process do not compete with security, they ensure it.

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