Cotton, Inhofe Introduce the Detainee Transfer Transparency Act
Washington, D.C.— Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) along with Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) and 11other Senators today introduced the Detainee Transfer Transparency Act, legislation that would require the Secretary of Defense to make available to the public the intended transfer or release of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba at least 21 days in advance:
“The prisoners at Guantanamo Bay are hardened terrorists who seek to do us harm and their release puts our national security in jeopardy,” said Cotton. “If President Obama insists upon putting our national security at risk and closing Guantanamo Bay, the American people and our foreign partners deserve to have the resources and information they need to keep themselves safe.”
“By law, the administration is required to give Congress 30-days advance notice of the transfer or release of terrorists held at Guantanamo, but this information is kept classified, leaving our hands tied in warning the public of irresponsible and dangerous releases,” said Inhofe. “A terrorist’s previous leadership ranking or active network hasn’t stopped President Obama from sending these individuals back to the fight, as we saw with the Taliban Five. If he is unashamedly trying to seal his legacy item to close Gitmo, then he should fully communicate to the public who these terrorists are and the justification for their release or the restrictions on their transfers. Not only should Americans be warned in advance of the administration’s intentions with these terrorists, but so should citizens of the countries in which the administration is sending these individuals. With 89 terrorists remaining in Gitmo, most of which have been labeled ‘too dangerous to release,’ my bill will give Americans a greater voice in how an administration is handling enemy combats while our country remains in a global war against terrorism.”
The Detainee Transfer Transparency Act would require the public notice from the Secretary of Defense to include: the name of the individual, the location to which the individual will be transferred or released, and the current and past risk profile of the individual. If the detainee is being transferred to another location, then the notice must also include a summary of the agreement made with that location and list actions being taken to mitigate risk of another transfer or the release of the detainee.
The legislation would also prohibit closure of Guantanamo Bay and prohibit the transfer of detainees to the United States.