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The President Is Willing to Gamble on U.S. Security for the Sake of His Personal Legacy by Importing Prisoners from Guantanamo

By Pat Roberts and Tim Scott

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said recently that the Obama administration is in the “final stages of drafting a plan to safely and responsibly” close the detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay. Our home states of Kansas and South Carolina are being considered as potential sites for housing the enemy combatants transferred from Guantanamo. Defense Department officials visited Fort Leavenworth, Kan., on Aug. 14 and will be visiting the Naval Brig in Charleston, S.C., to survey the facilities.

When Barack Obama [1] won the White House in 2008, he announced that Guantanamo would be closed in the first year of his presidency. This was a political promise with little regard for recidivism rates, the continuing conflicts in Iraq or Afghanistan, and most important, America’s national security. So it is fortunate that the deadline was not met.

But throughout his presidency, Mr. Obama has prioritized personal legacy over the safety and security of the nation—and he is still pursuing an effort to move the terrorists at Guantanamo into our backyards.

The notion that Kansas, South Carolina or any other state would be an ideal home for terrorist detainees is preposterous. Transferring these prisoners to the mainland puts the well-being of states in danger, posing security risks to the public and wasting taxpayer dollars. The detention facilities at Guantanamo are doing a fantastic job of holding these terrorists.

Congress has consistently stopped the president from closing Guantanamo by prohibiting funds from being used to transfer or release detainees into the U.S. Changing this policy would be beyond foolish. As the threat of Islamic State grows, now is not the time to consider transferring detainees to U.S. soil and putting America’s security at even greater risk.     (my emphasis)

READ all of Pat Roberts’ and Tim Scott’s comments from The Wall Street Journal here [2].

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