Walorski Urges Conferees to Prohibit the Transfer of Inmates from Guantanamo Bay

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

WASHINGTON D.C. – Rep. Jackie Walorski (IN-02) today issued a letter to conferees of the FY 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, requesting they maintain the House’s passed provisions prohibiting the use of funds to transfer or release any individual detained at the United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

“The recent prison escapes by violent criminals in both New York and Mexico have demonstrated that no prison facility is completely secure,” wrote Walorski. “Given the growth of the Islamic State and the rapid recruitment of fighters around the globe, including within the United States, Congress must do everything in our power to keep these terrorists confined and not in a position to threaten the lives of others.”

According to the most recent report released from the Director of National Intelligence in consultation with the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and the Director of the Defense Agency, nearly thirty percent of former detainees are confirmed or suspected of reengaging in terrorist activities. The Senate’s provision, contained in section 1032 of the Senate bill, would provide a pathway for the administration to close the facility in Guantanamo Bay and even begin the process of transferring detainees to prisons within the United States.

The letter was addressed to Senator John McCain, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Representative Mac Thornberry, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Senator Jack Reed, Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Representative Adam Smith, Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee.

Text of letter is included below.

July 20, 2015

The Honorable John McCain The Honorable Jack Reed

Chairman Ranking Member

Senate Armed Services Committee Senate Armed Services Committee

228 Russell Senate Building 228 Russell Senate Building

Washington, DC 20510 Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Mac Thornberry The Honorable Adam Smith

Chairman Ranking Member

House Armed Services Committee House Armed Services Committee

United States House of Representatives United States House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20515 Washington, DC 20515

Dear Conferees of the Fiscal Year 2016 National Defense Authorization Act:

As you finalize conference action on the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016, I write to ask that you maintain the House’s provisions as they relate to the prohibition on the use of funds to transfer or release any individual detained at the United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The Senate’s provision, contained in Section 1032 of the Senate bill, would provide a pathway for the administration to close the facility in Guantanamo Bay and even begin the process of transferring detainees to prisons within the United States. The recent prison escapes by violent criminals in both New York and Mexico have demonstrated that no prison facility is completely secure and our constituents do not want to run the risk of these terrorists escaping into their neighborhoods.

According to the most recent report released from the Director of National Intelligence in consultation with the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, nearly thirty percent of former detainees are confirmed or suspected of reengaging in terrorist activities. As demonstrated by this high recidivism rate, these terrorists can and will strike again if provided with the opportunity. As a result, I remain convinced the best measure for keeping Americans safe is keeping the United States Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay open.

Given the growth of the Islamic State and the rapid recruitment of fighters around the globe, including within the United States, Congress must do everything in our power to keep these terrorists confined and not in a position to threaten the lives of others. Last year’s release of the Taliban Five was a significant reminder to Congress of the risks involved in detainee transfer decisions and the importance of continuing effective Congressional oversight of any transfers away from this facility.

I appreciate your efforts in reaching an agreement on the many provisions contained in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act but I want to ensure tangible threats to our National Security are given the attention and focus they require.

Sincerely,

Jackie Walorski

Member of Congress

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District in Indiana, where she serves as a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, House Armed Services Committee, and House Committee on Agriculture.

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