News Releases

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Isakson Fights President's Plan to Close Guantanamo

'We must keep those who wish to do us harm off the battlefield, especially off of American soil'

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., this week joined his colleagues in sponsoring two resolutions to prevent President Obama from implementing his plan announced February 23, 2016, to close Guantanamo Bay military detention facility.

 The first resolution calling for fighters involved with Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, known as ISIL, to be detained at the Guantanamo Bay military detention facility if they are captured by the United States. The resolution follows the recent announcement that U.S. Special Forces captured an ISIL chemical weapons specialist while carrying out Operation Inherent Resolve – the name given to U.S. military operations against ISIL in Iraq and Syria.

 The second resolution outlines the multiple bills passed by Congress and signed into law that prohibit the president from closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. The resolution states that the president’s proposal, if carried out through an executive action, would be in direct violation of nine separate laws, and states the reasons why any alternative location would be unacceptable and dangerous to the security of our homeland. Further, it reiterates statements by the administration acknowledging that any move by the president to put military combatants detained at Guantanamo on the mainland would be against the law.

 “Our number one priority should be keeping our homeland safe and secure from the threat of radical terrorists, including those from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant,” said Isakson. “Unfortunately, the president appears more focused on releasing terrorists to fulfill his political promise to close Guantanamo Bay prison than on going after the very terrorists he should be sending there. We must continue to utilize this critical detention facility in the fight against global terrorism. We must keep those who wish to do us harm off the battlefield, and, especially off of American soil.”

 As the United States continues to conduct combat operations against ISIL, U.S. forces are likely to continue capturing terrorists that are connected to the group. Guantanamo Bay was established to house individuals who had engaged in, aided, abetted or conspired to commit acts of international terrorism and should be utilized as our nation faces continued terrorist threats.