Congressman Lamar Smith

Representing the 21st District of Texas
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Smith on Proposal to Close Guantanamo Bay

Feb 23, 2016
Press Release

Washington, DC –Representative Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today responded to President Obama’s plans to shut down the Guantanamo Bay detention center which houses terrorist detainees. The plan calls for transferring some of the detainees to the U.S.

Congressman Smith: “The president has already demonstrated he is willing to break current laws to enact his agenda, such as with the release of Guantanamo Bay detainees. That decision was a dangerous and short-sighted one which resulted in terrorists attempting to return to the battlefield. Americans do not want to close Guantanamo Bay and they are tired of this president treating terrorists like citizens. We will not allow the president to put his political promises above the safety and well-being of the American people.”

The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office released a report in 2014 stating that the Obama Administration violated the law when it traded five senior Taliban detainees in exchange for release of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl. The administration only gave Congress two days’ notice of the trade, despite the fact that the law requires the administration to inform Congress at least 30 days before any prisoner exchange from Guantanamo Bay. It also said the Defense Department wrongly used $988,400 from a wartime appropriations to facilitate the transfer.