Rep. Cook Votes To Stop Transfer of Guantanamo Detainees
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) today voted for HR 5351 to prohibit the transfer of any individual detained at United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The bill passed the House of Representatives by a margin of 244-174.
The bill temporarily prohibits any funds from being used to transfer or release an individual detained at Guantanamo Bay to the United States or a foreign country until January 21, 2017 or enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2017.
The Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp has served as a detention facility in the Global War on Terror since 2002. Currently, there are 61 terrorists incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay. During this Administration, 177 detainees have been transferred, repatriated, or resettled. Under current law, the Administration must inform Congress at least 30 days before a transfer can take place, confirming security conditions in a foreign country are adequate.
The President has repeatedly stated his desire to close the facility by transferring the remaining detainees to the United States or through additional transfer agreements with other countries. There have been several incidents involving former prisoners committing acts of terror against Americans. According to one recent report, nine people freed from Guantanamo have rejoined militant groups since President Barack Obama took office in 2009.
Rep. Cook said, “Prisoners held in Guantanamo are the ‘worst of the worst’, the most hard core of terrorists. These include the mastermind of the 9/11 Attacks and his lieutenants who helped organize and facilitate the deadliest terrorist attack in our history. These terrorists only want one thing: to kill Americans and cause destruction. It’s time to put national security first and stop the transfers immediately.”
A member of the House Natural Resources, Armed Services, and Foreign Affairs Committees, Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.