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Pentagon Reacts to House’s Gitmo-Closure Blockage

After a day of trying to get an official response here to the House Armed Services Committee’s ban on funding the Thomson Corrections Center to house Guantanamo detainees, here’s Lt. Col. Robert Ditchey with the reaction:

  • We recognize Congress’ responsibilities and the Committee’s important oversight interests.
  • We will continue to provide humane and transparent treatment of detainees at GTMO until the GTMO facility is closed.

A bit of backstory: The move here to block the Thomson funding was “in the chairman’s mark,” according to committee spokeswoman Jennifer Kohl, referring to Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.). But the provisions on allowing Congress to review administration plans to send Guantanamo detainees to the U.S. for further detention and for repatriation in third countries came after the committee rejected an amendment by Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) to ban all detainee transfers to U.S. soil for whatever reason.

“The Committee did not believe that a full prohibition was a good idea,” Kohl said in an email, “as it could impede the ability to effectively prosecute terrorist suspects and removed flexibility in unforeseen circumstances where a transfer would be necessary for national security reasons.”

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