Ron is fighting to make the Obama administration be transparent with the American people about where it’s sending Guantanamo Bay detainees, and he opposes bringing them onto U.S. soil.
Concerned that President Barack Obama is releasing dangerous terrorists who will return to fight against the U.S. and its allies, a Republican senator has authored legislation that he hopes will force transparency from the White House.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) introduced an amendment to the fiscal year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Tuesday that would require the defense secretary, in consultation with the secretary of state, to give Congress unclassified notice of plans to transfer detainees currently held at the military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba.
The unclassified notice would need to specify the name, country of origin, and country of destination for the individual detainee planned to be transferred 30 days before the transfer occurs. Additionally, it would need to stipulate the count of ex-detainees transferred to the country of destination in question who are known or believed to have reengaged in terrorism after their transfer.
“The American people deserve to know when and where President Obama plans to transfer the remaining 80 detainees at Guantanamo Bay. As of January 2016, 204 out of 676 transferred Guantanamo detainees—almost one third of those transferred—were confirmed or suspected of reengaging in terrorist or insurgent activities,” Johnson told the Washington Free Beacon in a statement.
“Information regarding these transfers should be public, not hidden by unnecessary classification. The detainees remaining in the Guantanamo Bay facility are the worst of the worst, and the threat they pose must be addressed seriously and transparently.”
The amendment would require the administration provide an unclassified notice to Congress detailing the specifics of when a detainee is transferred to a foreign country. The amendment would additionally require that any memorandum of understanding between the U.S. and the foreign country receiving the detainee be given to Congress, unclassified. If classification is required, the secretary of defense would have to submit a detailed, unclassified report as to why.
Information included in the requirement would include basic details, such as the detainee’s biographical data. Additionally, more nuanced information such as how many detainees have been transferred to a certain foreign country, how many of those detainees have reengaged in terrorism and an explanation from the secretary of defense as to why that country was chosen for the detainee’s release would be required.