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Senators ask to keep Gitmo open
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WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Scott Brown (R-Ma.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) introduced the “Detaining Terrorists To Secure America Act” (S. 944) — 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 lingering uncertainty about Guantanamo’s future — this bipartisan bill is planned to address 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 Defense, directing the Defense Secretary to take actions to maintain Gitmo as an operating facility for the detention of current and future terrorists. 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.

“The events of last week underscore the importance of information we gain from detainees, particularly those at Guantanamo Bay,” said Sen. 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 percent, we cannot afford to let more dangerous detainees return to the fight.”

“Having visited our prison facility at Guantanamo Bay earlier this year, I believe strongly that it should remain a critical tool in our continued war against terrorism,” said Sen. Brown, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “While bin Laden is dead, the terrorist threat remains very much alive, and enemy combatants should be tried and detained at Gitmo pursuant to our rules of engagement and laws of war. That is why I am proud to join this bipartisan legislation.”

Sen. Rubio said, “Guantanamo Bay plays an integral part in our ongoing effort to safeguard America and it is critical that this facility remain open and operating.”