Defense

Kansas lawmakers push for Guantanamo visit

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Two lawmakers from Kansas are calling on the Pentagon to allow representatives from their state to visit the Guantanamo Bay prison.

The administration is set to release a plan this week to close the detention facility. The plan will reportedly list the pros and cons of housing detainees in specific facilities in the United States.

{mosads}One of the sites Pentagon officials visited to assess transferring detainees to was Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

“President Obama and his administration appear to be intent on pursuing a deeply misguided policy of emptying the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay and transferring the detainees to prisons in the United States,” GOP Reps. Mike Pompeo and Lynn Jenkins wrote in a letter to Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Monday.

“We believe that state legislators, county commissioners, mayors and other local officials have the right to completely understand what their communities will face.”

In their letter, Pompeo and Jenkins warned sending detainees to Fort Leavenworth would have “dire consequences” for the surrounding community.

“It will be the state and local officials who will be left to deal with the predictable aftermath that comes with bringing these detainees to the Leavenworth community, such as an increased risk of terror attacks and a severe strain on our relationships with allied military commanders,” they wrote.

Their letters joins mounting criticisms of the yet-to-be-released plan from lawmakers representing the states with sites that have been assessed by the Pentagon.

Earlier Monday, Sens. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) also slammed the plan. Pentagon teams visited two prisons in Colorado and the Naval Consolidated Brig South Carolina.

Pompeo and Jenkins asked that Kansas and Leavenworth officials be given unclassified briefings and as much information on detainees as possible.

“It is critical,” they wrote, “that officials and residents have a complete understanding of what may be foisted upon them before a final decision is reached.”

Tags Guantánamo Bay Lynn Jenkins Mike Pompeo
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