11.20.15

Burr and Tillis Question Obama Administration On Release Of GITMO Prisoner

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Thom Tillis (R-NC), along with Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Jerry Moran (R-KS), John Boozman (R-AR), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Susan Collins (R-ME) sent letters to the Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS), General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., expressing concern over the Obama Administration’s recent release of Shaker Aamer from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. 

The letters note that the notification of transfer for Mr. Aamer did not list the Joint Chiefs of Staff as one of the entities “concurring” and “approving” of the transfer, as is normally the case. This indicates that the CJCS did not agree with the Administration’s decision to release Shaker Aamer. The letters go on to request Secretary Carter and General Dunford answers to questions about this transfer to the Senate and House Armed Services, Intelligence, Foreign Relations, Homeland Security, and Appropriations Committees.

The full text of the letters can be found here and here.

Senators Tillis and Burr oppose President Obama’s short-sighted proposal to close Guantanamo Bay and transfer the world’s most dangerous terrorists to prisons in the United States. The Senate recently passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in a resoundingly bipartisan 91-3 vote, which included a provision that legally bans the transfer of terrorists at Guantanamo to facilities in the United States.