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Senator Lankford: National Security Should Outweigh GITMO Campaign Promise

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today criticized President Obama’s plan to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba.

“Now, more than ever before, we need a national security strategy that puts the safety of the American people before political campaign promises,” said Lankford. “There is too much instability around the world to risk detainee recidivism. President Obama’s announcement comes on the same day that Spanish and Moroccan police arrest a former Guantanamo detainee who was part of an ISIL cell in North Africa. Soldiers have risked their lives to capture these terrorists. The Guantanamo Bay detention facility is the appropriate place to detain them and bring them to justice.”

On January 27, Lankford called on Senate Appropriations leaders to cut taxpayer-funded foreign aid for nations who mishandle terrorists formerly held at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. Weeks before, two detainees were transferred from Guantanamo Bay to the west African nation of Ghana. To better ensure that terrorists don’t return to the fight, the Senators wrote a letter calling for the reduction of foreign aid to Ghana, or any other nation, if those prisoners escape or return to terrorism.

In March of 2015, Lankford visited the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, and introduced the Guantanamo Bay Recidivism Prevention Act of 2015, to improve the monitoring of former detainees transferred to foreign countries to prevent them from returning to terrorism.

Senator Lankford is the only United States Senator that serves on both the Intelligence Committee and Homeland Security Committee.