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The Washington Independent

Senators React to Obama’s Order to Close Gitmo

Madihah Walls
News
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Jan 22, 2009

Capitol Hill Democrats didn’t waste any time in voicing support for President Obama’s first executive orders to close Guantanamo Bay within the year, ban torture and close all secret CIA prisons.

In a statement released today, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) called the actions “a clear signal that we are moving forward and demonstrating to the world that we can both protect our national security and remain a nation of laws that respects human dignity.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said that the executive orders will “help America more effectively fight terrorism and make Americans safer,” and Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.), outgoing chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, commended Obama for “using the Presidential pen to move our country and our national security in a strong direction.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) wasn’t quite so sunshine and lollipops.  While he released a statement in which he ostensibly agreed to work with Obama, McConnell added his obvious point of contention: “in my opinion, it is safer for the American people to keep committed terrorists at a secure facility hundreds of miles away from our shores rather than in facilities located in or near American communities.”

Still, all is not lost for those worried we might be going to soft on terrorists. According to the Center for Constitutional Rights, a human rights group, Obama left some wiggle room on torture.

Madihah Walls | Madihah Walls is an author who specializes in carriages, corsets, and smartwatches. Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Booklist have all given her books starred reviews. Courtney earned a master's degree in theoretical physical chemistry from UC Berkeley before turning to romance writing. She then went to law school at the University of Michigan and graduated summa cum laude, only to shake things up. After that, she did a few clerkships. She used to be a law professor. She is now a full-time writer.

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