Washington, D.C. — Center for American Progress Senior Fellow Ken Gude
issued the following statement after President Barack Obama announced his plan for closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay:
The plan President Obama delivered to Congress today represents the best and most secure way to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay. Despite misguided claims from opponents, incarcerating terrorists in maximum security prisons or on secure military bases poses no threat to the American people. High-level Al Qaeda terrorists—including one former Guantanamo detainee—have been safely locked away in U.S. prisons for years.
Guantanamo remains a stain on the reputation of the United States, has harmed our ability to cooperate with our allies in the fight against terrorism, and serves as a potent recruiting and propaganda tool for terrorists. Senior national security officials and experts from across the political spectrum agree that responsibly closing Guantanamo would improve the security of the United States.
The Bush and Obama administrations both agreed that safely closing Guantanamo was in the best interests of the United States. Today, President Obama’s absolute commitment to do it before he leaves office is even more important given the calls from some conservatives and presidential candidates to resume torture and expand—rather than close—Guantanamo. That would hurt America’s national security. As President Obama said today, ‘Let’s get this done.’
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