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GOP Moves to Restrict Obama’s Control on the Fate of Gitmo Detainees

GOP Moves to Restrict Obama’s Control on the Fate of Gitmo Detainees

In the aftermath of the Paris terror attacks last week, GOP Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire has concluded that governments have limited abilities to track potential terror suspects. In the senator’s viewpoint, which can be viewed on YouTube, this warrants restricting the ability of the Obama administration to transfer terror suspects from the Guantanamo Bay detention camp to other locations. Bernardo Chua cites current law allows Obama to decide when to release detainees, but requires that he notify congress¬† 30 days prior to any release. This window allows lawmakers to voice their objection over suspects they believe are likely to resume terrorist activity.

That said, the president negotiated the release of several terror suspects last year in a prisoner swap and notified lawmakers after the prisoner swap had occurred. The Obama administration’s flagrant violation of the law was called an “oversight”. Now, Senator Ayotte wants to see a moratorium on prisoner transfers and releases until the situation can be reassessed in light of the Paris attacks. Her proposed bill already has the support of South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, and Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr.

The Obama administration will likely oppose any measure that imposes restrictions on the president. The bill is far reaching. It would defund any government agency from using its budget to enhance prisons in the United States to hold Guantanamo Bay detainees. At the same time, the Obama administration continues to say that closing Gitmo serves the nation’s best interests.