VIA| Sen. Kelly Ayotte introduced legislation Tuesday that would prohibit any transfers from Guantanamo Bay through September 2017, several months past the end of President Obama’s term.
The Detaining Terrorists to Protect Americans Act of 2016 would also permanently ban any transfers of detainees to the U.S., and prohibit the closure of the detention center in Cuba.
“Unfortunately, this administration seems more interested in releasing terrorists and bringing the remainder to the United States in order to close Guantanamo and fulfill a misguided and dangerous campaign promise,” Ayotte, R-N.H., said in a statement. “My legislation would suspend the administration’s dangerous releases that have allowed terrorists to return to the battlefield and permanently prevent the administration from bringing Guantanamo terrorists to the United States.”
Current law prohibits the transfer of detainees to the U.S. and the construction of any facilities in the U.S. to hold detainees, but that law is typically renewed each year in the annual defense policy bill. Ayotte’s bill would make those bans permanent.
An administration official announced last month that former detainees had gone on to kill Americans following their release.
The transfer of two prisoners on Monday to Senegal brought the population of Gitmo down to 89 detainees.
The member of the Senate Armed Services Committee also promised to block Obama’s pick to be the Pentagon’s top lawyer over the delayed release of a report on current detainees required by law that is more than two months overdue.
A related bill introduced Monday would prohibit the transfer of detainees to countries that run higher risks of not keeping those detainees.