Shortly after being elected to Congress, I went to Guantanamo Bay to tour our detention facility, speak with our military and witness for myself the importance of keeping terrorists offshore and away from American civilian populations.
The terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay are the worst of the worst. They have conspired to kill Americans, and if given the chance would do it again. They include such terrorist heavyweights as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who decapitated Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl on camera.
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If a firing squad isn’t an option for guys like that, then the best alternative is to keep them at Guantanamo Bay, under the tightest security, far away from their civilian targets, and out of the American judicial system.
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Congress has long agreed: The prohibition on moving those terrorists to the United States was added to the annual national defense bill passed by a Democratic Congress in 2009. However, President Obama has announced his intention to send the terrorists to military installations in the United States. One potential destination is the Charleston Naval Brig.
No state should become a terrorist dumping ground, especially not South Carolina.
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That’s why I have introduced House Resolution 617, which authorizes Congress to sue the president to stop any detainee transfer to the United States. We need to prepare for a legal confrontation because of the president’s track record and rhetoric on this issue. Closing Guantanamo would undermine a clear requirement from Congress that was passed with a bipartisan, veto-proof majority.
If the president decides to break the law again, we need to be prepared to use the courts. That’s what my bill seeks to achieve.
Ultimately, our citizens deserve to have these terrorists kept far away, not in reach of our schools and churches. Moving these prisoners into our country would make our communities targets for Islamic terrorists. Prudence dictates that we protect our children from these terrorists, and the best way to do that is to keep them out of our country completely.
U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan