WASHINGTON, DC - As a Senior Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Inhofe (R-Okla.) is leading a Congressional Delegation on Monday, February 2, 2009 to Guantanamo Bay (GITMO), including Senators Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), and David Vitter (R-La.), on a fact-finding mission in response to President Obama's executive order to close the prison.
Senator Inhofe: "Several claims have been tossed around over the past few years in regards to the operations at GITMO, but with President Obama's intention to close down the facility, the United States could be faced with some very grave national security threats. President Obama's Executive Order failed to take into consideration the implications of closing GITMO - what happens to current detainees at GITMO, what does the military do with detainees held in other military prisons around the world, how does the military handle terrorists captured in the future, and what judicial process is going to be used. The trip is designed to help bring these and other issues to the forefront. Senator Roberts, Burr, and Vitter will be joining me on this trip."
Senator Burr: "I look forward to visiting the Guantanamo detention facility so that we can make decisions based on fact and first hand observations about what to do with these dangerous detainees. I am so far unconvinced that moving trained terrorists to the United States is in the best national security interests of our nation."
Senator Vitter: "I was very disappointed in President Obama's decision to close the detention facility at Guantanamo. This facility should not be closed, and these individuals should not be released until we can determine the extent of their potential involvement in terrorist activities. And we most certainly should use every available measure to ensure that they do not make their way into the United States if in fact they are released."
Senator Roberts: "This is my second trip to Gitmo. On this visit I am eager to talk with our honor bound men and women in uniform and our intelligence officials about safeguards and conditions for housing these detainees in the future. I am especially concerned with ridiculous speculation that Ft. Leavenworth is equipped to handle these detainees, some of the most dangerous terrorists in the world. I am convinced these terrorists cannot and will not be housed in Kansas."