Transcript: Remarks by Sen. Ted Cruz on closing Guantanamo – July 24, 2013
Partial transcript of remarks by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) 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.
President Obama tells us the war on terror is over, that Al Qaeda has been decimated, and that we can now take a holiday from the long difficult task of combatting radical Islamic terrorism. I don’t believe the facts justify that rosy assessment.
Five years ago, the President campaigned on closing Guantanamo, and yet Guantanamo remains open as a detention facility for those deemed to be the most dangerous terrorists that have been apprehended.
And to date, the administration’s position seems to be to continue apologizing for the existence of Guantanamo, to continue apologizing for our detaining terrorists and standing up to defend ourselves, but to do nothing affirmatively to address the problem.
In particular, if Guantanamo is closed, it raises the fundamental question of where these terrorists will be sent.
Now, we can embrace a utopian fiction that they will be sent to their home nation and somehow lay down their arms and embrace a global view of peace.
I don’t think that utopian fiction has any basis in reality. We have seen, whether it was in Boston or Benghazi or Fort Hood, that radical terrorism remains a real and live threat.
Now, I have significant concerns about the Obama administration’s over-broad incursions into the civil rights of law-abiding Americans. But at the same time, I have concerns about their unwillingness or inability to connect the dots and to prevent violent acts of terrorism.
And until we are presented with a good viable strategy for what to do with terrorists who would work night and day to murder innocent Americans, I have a hard time seeing how it is responsible to shut down our detention facility and send these individuals home where they almost surely would be released and almost surely would return to threaten and kill more Americans. That’s a question I hope this panel sheds some light on – how we can responsibly proceed in protecting the national security of this country, protecting the men and women of this country who expect as the first responsibility of the federal government that we will keep the nation secure.
And I look forward to the testimony today on that question.
- 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)