President Barack Obama called on Congress to take action, so Guantamo terrorist detainees can be transferred to the United States at a designated detention site in the country, where military trials and commissions can take place.
“There is no justification beyond politics for Congress to prevent us from closing a facility that should never have been opened,” Obama said. The president and his party has faced great opposition to opening up detention facilities in the U.S. to terrorists from Guantanmo Bay, Cuba. “Where appropriate, we will bring terrorists to justice in our courts and military justice system,” he said. However, Republicans will likely block any legislative moves taken by the Democrats.
Rep. Aaron Schock (R – Ill) and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) (R – Ill) proposed legislation in 2011 to block a detention facility for overseas terrorists to open in their state.
Additionally, those against bringing the detainees to the U.S. do have numbers to show. A report from the Director of National Intelligence, posted by National Public Radio in September 2012, showed that almost 28 percent “of the detainees transferred out of the U.S.-run detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have either returned to terrorism or are suspected of having done so.”
The DNI report specifically states:
“Based on trends identified during the past 10 years, we assess that if additional detainees are transferred without conditions from GTMO, some will reengage in terrorist or insurgent activities. Transfers to countries with ongoing conflicts and internal instability as well as active recruitment by insurgent and terrorist organizations pose a particular problem.”
Furthermore, the reports says that 168 of the 602 detainees released from the Guantanamo prison are either confirmed to have “reengaged in terrorism” or are “suspected of reengaging.”