Kansas officials to Obama: Don't close Guantanamo

Kansas officials to Obama: Don't close Guantanamo
© Getty

Lawmakers and other elected officials from Kansas are calling on President Obama to consider the concerns of state residents before issuing any executive action to close Guantanamo Bay and transfer detainees to the Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth — one of the sites for prisoners being examined by the Pentagon.

ADVERTISEMENT
In a letter Monday, a coalition of city, county, state and federal elected officials led by Reps. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.) and Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) and Leavenworth Mayor Lisa Weakley told the president that Fort Leavenworth is not a suitable location for detainees.

“Moving these terrorists to our community could jeopardize our families, schools and downtown businesses, and make Leavenworth a target,” they said. “Several folks have already said that they would leave our community should you choose to relocate Guantanamo detainees to Fort Leavenworth.”

The officials said they also fear moving prisoners to Fort Leavenworth will prevent Middle Eastern allies from sending officers to the facility, where they say the world’s “best and brightest military leaders” now train.

“This means that an invaluable resource, which provides military training practices to help protect our homeland and strengthens strategic partnerships with our allies, would likely end,” they wrote.

The White House has insisted that it will try to close the detention facility before Obama leaves office.

Read letter to President Obama