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Kansas' Congressional Delegation Against GITMO Closing, Detainee Transfer

Joint Task Force Guantanamo, flickr Creative Commons

Kansas’ congressional delegation is against President Obama’s plan to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and transfer remaining detainees to a facility in the U.S.

The president’s proposal does not say specifically where the detainees would go in the U.S. if the plan is approved by Congress. The prison in Leavenworth is one of the 13 existing prisons and military bases under consideration.

The three members of Kansas’ 4th congressional district--all Republicans--issued written statements saying they’ll fight to keep the detainees out of Kansas and out of the U.S. in general.

Sen. Jerry Moran calls the proposed transfer reckless.

"The president is legally prohibited and I am committed to blocking the transfer of the Guantanamo detainees anywhere in the United States, especially to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. We must safeguard the missions at Fort Leavenworth, and the nearly 14,000 military and civilian personnel and their family members, and the thousands of Kansans who live in the Leavenworth community," he said in an audio statement Tuesday.

Sen. Pat Roberts says there is no intelligence estimate of the threat from a detainee relocation into a local community.

Rep. Mike Pompeo calls the plan “dead on arrival” and also questions whether the president has the legal authority for the proposed transfer of detainees. Kansas' three other U.S. Representatives, all Republicans, are also opposed to the plan.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback released his own response against the plan, saying in a written statement that "we will pursue all actions available to fight the transfer of terrorists to U.S. soil." 


Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar.

To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.

Deborah joined the news team at KMUW in September 2014 as a news reporter. She spent more than a dozen years working in news at both public and commercial radio and television stations in Ohio, West Virginia and Detroit, Michigan. Before relocating to Wichita in 2013, Deborah taught news and broadcasting classes at Tarrant County College in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area.