Dec 15 2009
Meghan Hughes (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on news the Obama Administration will move some Guantanamo detainees to Illinois.
“The issues involved in closing Guantanamo go way beyond where to put the prisoners. I have been in discussions for months with the Obama Administration on a national security-centric approach to closing Guantanamo based on the law of war. Unfortunately, I fear the Obama Administration is choosing to go down a different, and potentially more dangerous, path.
“From the unprecedented decision to try enemy combatants captured on the battlefield in civilian courts to the conflicting testimony of Administration officials on long term detention to the alarming number of detainees who have been determined eligible for release, I fear the Administration has lost its bearings in an effort to close Guantanamo as quickly as possible. The Administration has sent a confusing message to our troops on the battlefield who no longer know when civilian law enforcement rules or the laws of war might apply.
“I continue to agree with our military leaders that closing Guantanamo is in our own national interests, if done correctly. However, I increasingly find myself at odds with the Administration’s approach.
“I hope the Administration hits the pause button on closing Guantanamo and works with Congress to develop a comprehensive strategy to keep dangerous terrorists off the battlefield.”