WirePOLITICS: Republican Congressional Committee questions candidates about closing Guantanamo Bay

Tom Waringthe Wire

The National Republican Congressional Committee wants to know if Santarsiero and Naughton support the Obama administration’s plan to close Guantanamo Bay and move the remaining prisoners, many of whom have been considered too dangerous to be released, onto U.S. soil.

There are 91 remaining detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, 35 of whom are expected to be transferred by summer while the rest are awaiting trial or deemed too dangerous to transfer.

In December, al-Qaeda leader Ibrahim al-Qosi, a former GITMO detainee who was transferred out in 2012, returned to the battlefield and appeared in a new al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) video.

Three of the “Taliban Five” have allegedly tried to rejoin their terrorist organizations as well. The Taliban Five were long-term Afghan detainees at Guantanamo Bay and formerly high-ranking members of the Taliban government of Afghanistan who were exchanged for U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who is facing charges of desertion.

National intelligence reports that nearly 30 percent of those released from Guantanamo Bay are either confirmed or suspected of reengaging with terrorism. Under current law, the Obama administration is prohibited from moving GITMO prisoners to U.S. soil, and only 27 percent of American citizens support the president’s plan to close the facility.

The NRCC contends that Obama is fighting to fulfill a campaign promise he made to the extreme left.

“It is unconscionable for Steve Santarsiero and Shaughnessy Naughton to stand silently as President Obama moves forward with his irresponsible plan and puts safety of Americans at risk,” said NRCC communications director Katie Martin. “Steve Santarsiero and Shaughnessy Naughton need to start standing up for the American people instead of letting a lame duck president steamroll our national security as he heads toward the exit.”

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