Senator Michael Bennet and Congressman Scott Tipton responded yesterday to President Obama’s speech where he proposed closing the Guantanamo Bay prison before the end of his term in office. If the President moves ahead with a plan one of the possible locations to relocate detainees is the Supermax Prison in Florence Colorado. While Bennet and Tipton rarely agree, they both have come out against any call by the president to move the Guantanamo prisoners into prisons located in the United States. In his response to the President speech, Tipton stated that he believes that any such plan by the president is not only misconceived but is also illegal. While Bennet, who has voted to close Guantanamo in the past, believes that prisoners like those held in Guantanamo should be in Military Prisons and not in state facilities. Bennet and Tipton’s statements echo one released on Monday by Colorado Senator Cory Gardner and Senators from Kansas and North Carolina. Pictured: Scott Tipton.
Tipton’s full statement is available here.
Bennet’s full press release and statement is below.
Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet released the following statement on the plan the President has submitted to Congress regarding the future of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.
“I’ve repeatedly said I do not support the transfer of prisoners from the Guantanamo Bay military facility to Colorado. I’ve voted to close the prison, but I believe military detainees should be held in military prisons. Colorado does not have that type of facility. This plan has done nothing to change my mind. These detainees should not be transferred to Colorado.”
Bennet, who has supported closing the prison, has consistently voted and spoken out against moving the detainees to Colorado.
In 2009, he voted to kill funding to begin closing the Guantanamo facility, saying federal prisons like Supermax should not be considered. He helped pass an amendment to bar the transfer or release of any detainee at the prison to the United States. Bennet fired back at senators who suggested prisoners could be transferred to Colorado saying, “Military detainees should not be transported to and held at Supermax.”
He also voted for a Sense of the Senate calling for the Defense Secretary to consult with state and local governments before making any decision about where detainees may be transferred, to require the Administration to report to Congress every 90 days on the prisoner population at Guantanamo Bay, and to ban the transfer of any detainee unless the President can certify the release would pose no threat to members of the U.S. military.
He has voted for Defense Authorization bills for fiscal years 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 which all have barred the President from transferring Guantanamo detainees into the United States. He has also voted for several appropriations bills that contained similar restrictions.