Stopping Guantanamo Jihadists from coming to U.S. prisons

Published 8:18 am Wednesday, March 2, 2016

By Dr. Brian Babin

U.S. Congressional Representative for the 36th District

After seven years, President Obama remains determined to fulfill his dangerous campaign promise of closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba. This time he announced plans to bring the most dangerous jihadists to U.S. prisons.

Ironically, on the same day of Obama’s announcement, we learned that a former Guantanamo Bay detainee was arrested in Morocco for recruiting jihadists.  Many of those already released from the Gitmo prison have returned to the battlefield to fight against Americans troops and carry out jihadi attacks.

Instead of providing Congress with his plan to defeat ISIS as required by law, the President chose to present this foolish proposal to bring Guantanamo terrorists to our homeland.

The latest proposal outlined by Obama calls for releasing detainees to foreign countries, while placing the most dangerous in U.S. prisons. This is an absolutely terrible and insane course of action.

Last year, Obama’s own Director of National Intelligence reported that nearly 30% of all detainees released by this Administration had been either confirmed or suspected of returning to terrorist activities. Sadly, with Obama’s continued release of detainees, we can expect this number to rise.

The President took a sworn oath to protect the safety and security of the American people – and by releasing these detainees he is instead putting Americans at risk.

Placing the most ardent terrorists in U.S. prisons is deeply disturbing and dangerous.  Included in this group are the likes of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.

This issue is not just about bringing dangerous terrorists to the U.S., but also allowing them to infiltrate and radicalize criminals within our own borders. Unless President Obama has been sleeping through his daily national security briefings, he knows that U.S. prisons are a breeding, training and networking place for radical jihadists.  According to law enforcement officials, ISIS is actively working to recruit from within U.S. prisons.

While two-thirds of Americans oppose closing Guantanamo Bay, this Administration has refused to rule out unilateral executive action – even though it against the law.

Americans don’t want their security compromised by closing this much needed and proven detention facility.  Not only should this facility remain open, but those held there should be prosecuted under military tribunals as authorized by the U.S. Congress and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

From the start, there has always been a strong, bipartisan opposition to Obama’s campaign promise to close Guantanamo Bay.  Each year, Congress has reaffirmed restrictions that prohibit detainees from coming to American soil.  In fact, they were originally put in place by a Democrat-led Congress in 2009 – and this remains the law of the land.

It’s not surprising that the President’s latest proposal was dismissed as “unserious,” “illegal” and merely “political exercise.”  Clearly, the President is more concerned with fulfilling a campaign promise than protecting the American people.

Simply put, the President’s latest proposal is dead on arrival in Congress – and I will work tirelessly to block any attempt by this President to use executive action to close Guantanamo and bring these terrorist to U.S. prisons.

Dr. Brian Babin is the U.S. Congressional Representative for the 36th District