Tuesday, February 3, 2009
WATCH: Inhofe Youtube from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
Posted by Matt Dempsey email@example.com Today, Senator Inhofe posted a YouTube video filmed during his visit on Monday to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. As a Senior Member on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Inhofe led a fact-finding mission in response to President Obama's executive order to close the prison. Senators Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and David Vitter (R-La.), joined Senator Inhofe on the trip. Senator Inhofe stands firmly opposed to the closing of the detainee camp which holds 245 enemy combatants from the war on terror. The closing of the camp could result in the transfer of the detainees to US soil which would increase the
threat to national security as well as further complicate the legal process through which these prisoners are being tried, and the potential release of individuals who pose a
real and credible threat to the United States and its citizens.
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 was designed to help bring these and other issues to the forefront.
"Before we rush to close GTMO, I ask President Obama and my colleagues who have never visited GTMO to make time and visit GTMO. They owe it to themselves and the American public to see and understand what is going on there, how detainees are being held, and the legal process that has been put in place to ensure detainees receive a fair and impartial trial."
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 GTMO 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 GTMO, 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) GTMO 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 GTMO. GTMO 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 GTMO. 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.
-GTMO 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 GTMO is being used to fight terrorists in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the globe.
-The Expeditionary Legal Complex (ELC) located at GTMO 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.