Congressman Nadler Statement on President Obama’s Plan to Close the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility

Feb 23, 2016 Issues: Civil Liberties, Foreign Affairs/Israel

Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), senior member of the House Judiciary Committee and author of numerous amendments to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, issued the following statement in response to President Obama's announced Plan For Closing The Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility:

“As a longtime proponent of closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, I am pleased that President Obama has laid out a forward-looking plan. National security experts and our own military commanders agree that the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay harms our national security, serves as a recruiting tool for terrorists, damages our relations with our allies, and is extremely costly.  But more importantly, the facility violates our core values and undermines our own system of law and order.  It is clear that the political and legal expediency of the detention center at Guantanamo Bay has not been worth the cost to America’s reputation around the world, nor to the erosion of our legal and ethical standards here at home. Congress should work with the President to close the facility and determine a safe and effective alternative that enhances our national security and saves us money. 

“Remember, terrorists from Al Queda to ISIS use the prison as a deadly recruiting tool to inspire our enemies to do us harm and its costly operation has yet to lead to any convictions. It is clear that closing Guantanamo and trying detainees in U.S. courts would not endanger our national security.  Since 9/11, well over 400 defendants have been successfully convicted within the United States of federal crimes related to international terrorism with no security incidents. Faisal Shazhad, the Times Square bomber, Richard Reid, the shoe bomber, and Zacharias Moussaoiui, 9/11 conspirator, were all tried in U.S. courts and are all being held in federal prisons within the United States.  There is already ample proof that the United States is capable of detaining dangerous terrorists in U.S. facilities without incident. 

“I commend the President for his continued work to improve national security by setting a course for closing the facility, and I will continue to work with my colleagues to make the changes necessary in the law to enable him to do so.”