Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Lankford, just back from visiting the detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, joined Breitbart News Saturday to discuss the home of some of the worst Islamic jihadists.
Friday Lankford toured Gitmo along with freshman members of the Senate Intelligence Committee Tom Cotton, Joni Ernst, Thom Tillis, and Mike Rounds. He and the other senators toured the facility, observed detention operations, and talked with officials.
He spoke to Breitbart’s Editor-in-Chief, Alexander Marlow, and Executive Chairman, Stephen K. Bannon, from the airport in Dallas on his way home to Oklahoma City. Lankford reminded the audience listening to the program on Sirius XM Patriot Radio channel 125, that President Obama has never “laid eyes on” or visited Gitmo even though it remains a “central focus of a lot of the president’s policies on terrorism.”
The Oklahoma Senator recounted that “a lot of people don’t realize that Guantanamo is a naval base that we have had for more than a hundred years. And the detention facility is just a small part of the Guantanamo base. It is an absolutely stellar federal detention center… It is a very modern facility.” The senator pointed out that the media likes to show the men out side in the elements facing hardships, but that is not what the facility is about, Lankford explained.
Lankford found that the detention facility at Gitmo runs quite smoothly and “there were an amazing group of people there. All five branches of the military are involved.”
Lankford explained that the reason we have the prisoners there is first for security reasons of “holding them there” and secondly, “for the security of the people that actually monitor them.” The terrorists become a risk threat as well, so it would be dangerous for an American city to detain them, Lankford believes.
Bannon asked Lankford, if he found it strange that President Obama focuses on turning over the prisoners and finding homes for the “worst of the worst of these bad guys.” Lankford made clear that Obama has his priorities upside down, that he should be thinking about “national security first. The first role of government is to protect our liberties and protect our nation. That is a clear constitutional role.”
Lankford told listeners that when you have a president that focuses so much on shutting down Guantanamo, “I have to ask him: …Where are these people going to go, what’s the reason, what’s the gain?”
Lankford says it appears to be more of “PR focus” for the president and not a national security focus. “The president feels like terrorists hate us because we have Guantanamo, so we’ll just move some of the worst to other prisons and release half of the rest of them, and then they won’t hate us so bad.”
Lankford of course “adamantly disagrees” with this notion. The people at Gitmo hate Americans no matter what, contends the senator. “The vast majority of those held at Gitmo should never be released.”
Significantly, Lankford believes that the president plans to expand review panels for every individual detained at Gitmo. By doing this he can “run up the cost per person” for all prisoners at the facility. Ultimately, explained Lankford, Obama will make an argument that it is too costly to keep the prisoners there and will urge that they be moved to prisons on the mainland.
The prisoners that are now there are “very interested in joining ISIS and engaging in the fight,” he insisted.
Moreover, Lankford said that Tom Cotton’s open letter last week to Iran, which stated any nuclear arms treaty that Obama makes is not binding, was important. “Iran needs to understand how are system is different from theirs. In their country the Ayatollah is the only one who can make a decision on a treaty. They can also break it at any time.”
The Oklahoma senator made clear that’s not how it works in America. A treaty established by Obama will carry no weight when he leaves office in 2016. Lankford agreed with Marlow that the letter was an explanation of the U.S. constitution to Iran.
If America were to enter the nuclear arms treaty with Iran that Obama wants, the clock would start ticking off to the day ten years from now, when Iran has a nuclear bomb. Lankford affirmed that maybe for the first time, an American president’s plans for granting nuclear arms to Iran is even less restrictive than the United Nations. The UN wants to prohibit Iran from enriching plutonium and creating centrifuges.