The Department of Defense is conducting “site surveys” to transfer a “limited number” of Guantanamo detainees.
Lawmakers were notified on Friday that teams will visit two military installations in the United States: Fort Leavenworth in Kansas and the Naval Brig in Charleston, S.C.
The move has already caused criticism on Capitol Hill. And even though there exist congressional restrictions on moving the detainees to U.S. soil, the notice itself shows officials are not waiting to make the transfer.
After learning of the survey teams, lawmakers representing Kansas vowed to fight any proposed transfers to their state.
Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., said in a statement that the move “reflects another egregious overstep by this administration.”
He added, “Congress has consistently stopped Obama by law from moving a single detainee to the U.S.,” he said. “Not on my watch will any terrorist be placed in Kansas.Terrorists should not be living down the road from Ft. Leavenworth – home to thousands of Army soldiers and their families, as well as military personnel from across the globe who study at the Intellectual Center of the Army.This administration’s last-ditch effort to carry out President Obama’s reckless national security decision before he leaves office is disingenuous and flawed.”
Despite the congressional restrictions, President Obama still wants to close the Cuba prison camp. A total of 116 detainees remain at Guantanamo, 52 of whom have been approved for transfer.