WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) and a staunch opponent of President Obama’s efforts to close Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (GITMO), today signed a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta seeking answers to the detention and trial of Ahmed Abdulkadir Warsame.
In signing the letter, Inhofe highlighted the need to pass his legislation, S.1046, that would require each high-value enemy combatant who is captured or otherwise taken into long-term custody by the United States be detained at GITMO.
Earlier this month, Inhofe also signed a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder expressing concern and seeking reconsideration of the decision to put Warsame in a New York civilian trial.
“In the case of Warsame, the Obama administration is circumventing the wishes of Congress that terrorist detainees not be transferred to or tried in the United States,” said Inhofe. “Putting terrorist detainees captured overseas in a civilian court in the United States grants them constitutional rights reserved for U.S. citizens. This case highlights the need for my legislation that would make use of GITMO for new terrorist detainees, and it is exactly for this reason that I introduced this bill.
“Congress deserves answers from the Obama administration on their highly flawed policy of dealing with new detainees. I look forward to hearing the answers to the questions we have asked.”
Ø Inhofe authored the legislation after his fourth visit to GITMO in May, 2011.
Ø The bill has 10 co-sponsors.
Ø Not one single new detainee has been sent to GITMO since President Obama took office.
Ø The measure requires that each high-value enemy combatant who is captured or otherwise taken into long-term custody by the United States be detained at GITMO.
Ø The definition of a high-value enemy includes an enemy combatant who: is a senior member of al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or any associated terrorist group; has knowledge of an imminent terrorist threat against the United States or its territories, the Armed Forces of the United States, the people or organizations of the United States, or an ally of the United States; has, or has had, direct involvement in planning or preparing a terrorist action against the United States or an ally of the United States or in assisting the leadership of al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or any associated terrorist group in planning or preparing such a terrorist action; or, if released from detention, would constitute a clear and continuing threat to the United States or any ally of the United States.
Ø The United States has detained almost 800 Al-Qaeda and Taliban combatants at GITMO.
Ø Over 600 detainees have been tried, transferred or released from GITMO for other countries.
Ø In November 2010, the Director of National Intelligence released a report that stated over 150 transferred or released GITMO detainees, or 25 percent of those released, are suspected or confirmed to have returned to fight. The recidivism rate in 2009 was 14 percent.