Transcript: Remarks by Sen. Dianne Feinstein on closing Guantanamo – July 24, 2013
Partial transcript of remarks by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on “Closing Guantanamo: The National Security, Fiscal and Human Rights Implications.” The hearing was held before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights on July 24, 2013.
…I was at Guantanamo about a month ago with John McCain and the President’s Chief of Staff.
We’ve been looking at the figures – the cost, and apparently they’re much higher than we’d thought.
If the new costs are correct, the cost of the facilities – $554.1 million in 2013, and as Sen. [Patrick] Leahy said, that’s $2.67 million per detainee. I want to point out that to keep a prisoner in maximum security in our federal system is $78,000. So this is a massive waste of money.
A month ago when I was there, there were 166 inmates, most have been there for a decade or more – 10 years with no hope, no trial, no charge. These 166 detainees [sic] are slated for trial while 46 others will be held without trial until the war against terror is over, whatever that may be. Eighty-six of them – more than half – have been cleared for transfer by either the Bush or Obama administration; nonetheless, they remain in dismal conditions and legal limbo.
By the end of President Obama’s second term, the majority of Guantanamo detainees there today will have been held without trial for almost 15 years.
I would submit that this is not the American way. I would submit that Guantanamo has been a recruiting tool for terrorist. It makes a myth out of our legal system and it really ought to be closed.
We saw the hopelessness. We saw when we were there 70 detainees were undergoing a hunger strike. Twice a day, American military personnel restrains the detainee in a chair by his arms, torso, and feet. A tube is inserted into the nose and into the stomach. And for some detainees this has been going on for five months, twice a day…
This large scale forced feeding and this behavior is a form of protest. It’s not an attempt at suicide. I believe it violates international norms and medical ethics. At Guantanamo, it happens day after day and week after week.
So I find this unacceptable. I believe the facility should be closed. I believe all of these people can be transferred to high-security facilities in this country and that that is the proper thing to do…
- judiciary.senate.gov: “Closing Guantanamo: The National Security, Fiscal, and Human Rights Implications”
- judiciary.senate.gov: Video of the Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on closing Guantanamo on July 23, 2013
- C-Span.org: Video of Guantanamo Bay Prison Facility Closing
- judiciary.senate.gov: Written testimony of Elisa Massimino, President of Human Rights First, on closing Guantanamo (PDF)
- judiciary.senate.gov: Written testimony of Navy Lt. Joshua Fryday, Judge Advocate General, Office of the Chief Defense Counsel for Military Commissions, on closing Guantanamo (PDF)
- judiciary.senate.gov: Written testimony of Frank Gaffney, Founder and President of the Center for Security Policy and former Assistant Secretary of Defense for National Security Policy under the Reagan administration, on closing Guantanamo (PDF)
- judiciary.senate.gov: Written testimony of U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Stephen Xenakis (Ret.), former Army Medical Corp Officer, Psychiatrist, and Adjunct Professor at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences in the Military Medical Department, on closing Guantanamo (PDF)
- judiciary.senate.gov: Written testimony of U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton (Ret.), Senior Adviser to the National Security Network and former Commanding General of the Coalition Military Assistance Training Team in Iraq from 2003-2004, on closing Guantanamo (PDF)
- judiciary.senate.gov: Written testimony of Sen. Patrick Leahy on closing Guantanamo (PDF)
- judiciary.senate.gov: Written testimony of Rep. Adam Smith on closing Guantanamo (PDF)
- judiciary.senate.gov: Written testimony of Rep. Mike Pompeo on closing Guantanamo (PDF)
Category: Advocacy, Congress, Corruption, Criminal Justice, Current Events, Defense Department, Government, Human Rights, Intelligence Community, International, Military, Religion, Transcripts, U.S., Wasteful Spending · Tags: Al Qaeda, Barack Obama, Bush administration, Congress, Democrats, detainee, detention, Dianne Feinstein, ethics, federal court, forced feeding, hunger strike, indefinite detention, John McCain, terrorism, transfer, transfer authority, U.S., United States, US Senate