February 20, 2009
"From the looks of what is being reported today in the New York Times, a new Pentagon report on Gitmo states exactly what I have been saying all along," Senator Inhofe said. "From my visits to Gitmo since 9/11, I know that the military detention facilities at GITMO meet the highest international standards and are a fundamental part of protecting the lives of Americans from terrorism. It is the only complex in the world that can safely and humanely hold these individuals who pose such a grave security risk to our nation. It is a secure location away from population centers to protect communities from both potential escapes as well as attacks, provides multiple levels of confinement opportunities based on the compliance of the detainee, and provides medical care not available to a majority of the population of the world. I look forward to reading the full report when it becomes available.
"Several claims have been tossed around over the past few years in regards to the operations at Gitmo. Yet, many of those making the claims have never seen it firsthand. I am pleased, therefore, that Attorney General Eric Holder plans to visit Gitmo on Monday. I remain optimistic that after the Obama Administration considers the facts on the ground they too will appreciate the grave national security threat to the United States if Gitmo were to be shut down. I firmly believe that transferring terrorists to American soil should be completely out of the question and I will continue working with my colleagues to ensure this never happens."
Senator Inhofe introduced legislation (S.370) to prevent the detainees at Guantanamo from being relocated anywhere on American soil. Earlier this month, Senator Inhofe led a Congressional Delegation to Guantanamo Bay to see firsthand the state of the prison operations and get the facts out about its critical role in keeping U.S. national security.
Inhofe Video From Gitmo Earlier this Month
What we know:
-As the U.S. engages in the War on Terror, the capture of terrorists is inevitable and they must be held somewhere.
-The detainee complex at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba is the only complex in the world that can safely and humanely hold individuals that pose a high security risk to the US. It is a secure location away from population centers, provides maximum security required to prevent escape, provides multiple levels of confinement opportunities based on compliance of the detainee, and provides medical care not available a majority of the population of the world.
-On 22 Jan, President Obama ordered the closing of the Guantanamo Bay prison within a year, closed CIA facilities, and ordered that all interrogations of suspected terrorists will have to abide by the Army field manual, removing the Bush administration's approval of "enhanced" interrogation techniques, which some believed to be torture.
-President Obama's Executive Order could cause delays in the trials of: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, "mastermind" of the 9/11 attacks; Walid Muhammad Salih Mubarek Bin ‘Attash, trainer of 9/11 operatives and senior al Qaeda figure connected to the USS Cole bombing and 1998 bombings of US Embassies in East Africa; and Ali Abdul Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi, the primary financial and logistical supporters of the 9/11 operatives.
-If GITMO is no longer a prison, some US domestic or overseas prison will have to house these detainees while they await a hearing and trial. Moving these prisoners to the US would increase the risk to national security and complicate the judicial process through which these prisoners are tried.
-The other alternative is the release of these terrorists. If the US released all detainees currently being held at Gitmo, it would threaten not only our national security, but the security of all our allies and our coalition partners around the world.
-Joint Task Force (JTF) GITMO holds approx 245 terrorists from over 30 countries. They are provided better care than the care provided prisoners in US prisons, including health care which provides all medical/dental services and a health care provider to a detainee ratio of 1:2 (one health care professional for every two detainees.)
-Water boarding has never occurred at GITMO. GITMO is operated by the DoD and only interrogation techniques approved by the Secretary of Defense has been used.
-Current treatment and oversight exceed any maximum-security prison in the world. This did not happen overnight and was a deliberate process put in place by DoD and the commanders and personnel at GITMO. One particular program called DIMS (Detainee Incident Management System) tracks all actions and activities for each detainee - meals eaten, recreation time, medical appointments, chaplain visits, interrogations as well as disciplinary actions.
-US Soldiers in the battlefield are putting their lives at risk trying to secure evidence that can one day be used in a court of law to try and convict enemy combatants captured on the battlefield, often in the middle of a firefight.
-GITMO is the single greatest repository of human intelligence in the war on terror. This intelligence has prevented terrorist attacks and saved lives in the past and continues to do so today. New intelligence is being collected from detainees at GITMO is being used to fight terrorists in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the globe.
-The Expeditionary Legal Complex (ELC) located at GITMO is the only one of its kind in the world. It provides a secure location to secure and try detainees charged by the US government, full access to
sensitive and classified information, full access to defense lawyers and prosecution, and full media access by the press.