Transcript: Sen. Saxby Chambliss’s response to Obama’s speech on closing Guantanamo

Partial transcript of remarks by Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia) in response to President Barack Obama’s speech on U.S. counter-terrorism strategy, including the closing of Guantanamo Bay. The press briefing was held on May 23, 2013:

Thanks, Sen. McCain.

John and I have a little slight difference of opinion about Guantanamo Bay. I have been one to advocate to maintaining Guantanamo Bay and my reason’s pretty simple: If we were to capture some of the Benghazi terrorists we know today are running free, what are we going to do with them? We have no place to take them. Are we going to bring them to an Article III court? Or are we going to trust the Libyans to prosecute them? What’s going to happen to them?

That’s just one simple question.

The other one is we’ve got a 166 of the meanest, nastiest killers in the world over there in Guantanamo Bay today.

What the President has said is we’re going to move towards closure and that means the release of presumably 86 of those individuals that have already been authorized for transfer but they were not transferred because a number of them were going to Yemen – 56 of them are Yemenis.

And following the 2009 Christmas Day bomber incident, all transfers to Yemen were stopped because we didn’t have confidence that the Yemeni government could handle them.

Well, guess what? Between December 2009 and today, has Yemen shown any indication that they’re more capable of looking after those individuals? Absolutely not. I mean, if we were to transfer those individuals to Yemen, it would be just like turning them lose. I just don’t think that’s the right thing to do.

We’ve got state-of-the-art facilities at Guantanamo. We should try individuals that are at Guantanamo today in the courtrooms at Guantanamo, then make a decision on what to do with them after that.

The other issue I want to touch briefly on that the President talked about is the transparency that he now wants to see in the drone program. He was limited in what he said on the programs so obviously I can only be limited in what I say about it.

But suffice it to say that in the case of Anwar al-Aulaqi, we had complete transparency that was given to the American public and was given to Congress. Congress knew exactly what was going on with respect to the targeting of Aulaqi. And that’s the type of transparency that is appropriate.

But to open the books on the drone program I think does not make America a safer place in which to live.


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One Comment on “Transcript: Sen. Saxby Chambliss’s response to Obama’s speech on closing Guantanamo

  1. Pingback: Obama urges Congress to lift restrictions on detainee transfers, outlines plan to close Guantanamo | What The Folly?!

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