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Kansas Attorney General: Obama Still Wants GITMO Detainees Moved to US Mainland

Kansas Public Radio
The U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, one possible site to house suspected terrorists if those detainees are moved from Cuba to the U.S. mainland.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt says he's still concerned that the Obama administration plans to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba and move the detainees to the U.S. mainland, possibly even to Fort Leavenworth. Schmidt says housing the suspected terrorists in Leavenworth could present security issues for the local community outside the prison walls.

The attorney general released new documents on Thursday that he acquired from the U.S. Defense Department. And Schmidt says those documents raise concerns.

"The sheer volume of documents produced so far plainly shows that federal planning to move terrorist detainees to the U.S. mainland has been extensive," Schmidt says. "And because we even now do not know the full extent of federal preparations, we have to remain intensely vigilant through the final weeks of the current federal administration to ensure that detainees are not transferred to Fort Leavenworth."

Schmidt says the documents he obtained this week are heavily redacted, making it difficult to read all of the information they contain. However, he says it appears that both the military prison at Fort Leavenworth and the federal, civilian penitentiary at Leavenworth have been considered as possible sites to house the GITMO detainees.

J. Schafer is the News Director of Kansas Public Radio at the Univeristy of Kansas. He’s also the Managing Editor of the Kansas Public Radio Network, which provides news and information to other public radio stations in Kansas and Missouri. Before joining KPR in 1995, Schafer spent 10 years as a commercial radio and TV newsman. During his career, he's filed stories for nearly every major radio news network in the nation including ABC, NBC, CBS, AP, UPI, the Mutual Broadcasting System, NPR and the BBC. This seems to impress no one. At KPR, he produces feature stories, interviews and newscast items and edits the work of others. In the fall of 2000, he performed contract work for the U.S. State Department, traveling to central Asia to teach broadcast journalism at newly independent radio stations in the former Soviet Union. One of his passions is Kansas; learning about and promoting the state’s rich heritage, people and accomplishments. Schafer gives presentations about Kansas to various organizations around the state to remind residents about our awesome history and incredible people. A native of Great Bend, he studied journalism and mass communications at Barton County Community College and at the University of Kansas. He was also an exchange student to Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany. The “J.” in J. Schafer stands for Jeremy, but he doesn’t really care for that name. He also enjoys the pretentiousness of using just a single initial for a first name!